When a calamity like what happened in Paris strikes it’s amazing how quickly we become prisoners of fear.
Fear becomes the driving force behind making decisions (though many refuse to acknowledge this).
The need for security motivates us to do things we wouldn’t normally consider doing.
But as Christians we should NEVER make a decision based on fear.
And we should NEVER put our trust in man or governments over our trust in God.
God alone is our refuge and security (Psalm 91).
The decisions we make should be based on who He is (LOVE, 1 John 4:8)) and who we are in Him (Children of God, 1 John 3:1, John 1:12).
So while the world is making decisions based in fear, a need for security and a sense of control, we should not.
We are His ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20), we represent His love and light in this darkness (Matt 5:16), therefore we must draw closer to God and let Him guide our decisions in these unsettling times.
One way to do this is to take all our thoughts and fears captive to the Word of God.
In Phil 4:8 we are told: “ Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
What is true about what happened in Paris? It is true that it is a horrible tragedy. Many things we read in the News are true regarding this event. But what is also true is that God is still on His throne. This did not take God by surprise. God tells us in John 16:33 that bad things will happen in this world, but we can have peace and cheer because God is still victorious. As long as there is evil in this world, bad things will happen. But God’s promises to us, His Children, are still true and worth clinging to.
What is noble in all of this? Another way of saying this is what good can come from this? Well, if we let fear dictate our decisions and actions NO good can come. But if we allow God’s LOVE and TRUTH to be our guide then much good can come. An increased awareness of evil can be revealed and along with it a need for God’s grace to be shared with the lost and dying world. An opportunity for revival can happen and that is good. Sharing the Good News with those who need it is certainly a noble and good thing to happen out of this sadness.
What is right? When bad things happen it’s human nature to begin pointing fingers. “You are wrong and we are right” “That group is wrong, but this group is right.” Times like this can either divide us even further (which is what satan wants) or it can bring us closer together. Love brings unity and healing. Fear brings division and death. Loving our neighbor doesn’t mean just loving/accepting those who think like us and believe like us, it means loving those who we fear and disagree with. “RIGHT” by the worlds standards is very different from God’s (John 3:16-17).
Can purity be found in this? Yes. God is love and His love is pure. LOVE (God) casts out fear (1 John 4:18) that cripples us. When we draw closer to Him our fears diminish. On our own we cannot love our enemies. But with Him all thing are possible (Matt 16:26). With Him our motives for making decisions can be pure instead of defiled by fear and a need to control things we are not meant to control.
What is lovely about so many innocent people dying? If they knew Christ as the only way to heaven, then there is much that is lovely about them going to be with their Savior. However it is the ultimate tragedy if they died without Him in their hearts. This should motivate Christians to get out of their comfort zones, to take ACTION, and begin witnessing to the lost and dying world. What is lovely about what happened…hopefully an urgency within the Body of Christ to DO the Great Commission (Matt 28:16-20). It’s time we got “skin in the game”.
What is admirable and praiseworthy during this sorrowful time? God is ALWAYS worthy to be praised. Even when we do not understand what is happening. Even when our hearts are breaking, God is worthy of praise. Read through the Psalms. David is known as a man after God’s own heart and yet he suffered greatly. His life and victories were not easy. People he loved tried to kill him on more than one occasion. And yet he found God faithful and worthy of praise. Psalm 34 is only one of many chapters about the happiness we can find when we trust in God.
So in the wake of what happened there are many tears to be shed and decisions to be made…but how will you make those decisions? Will LOVE be your guide or FEAR?
Please take a moment to watch this music video by for KING & COUNTRY “The Proof of Your Love”
For greater insight into what God’s love looks like and how we can emulate it read: 1 Cor 13