“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars…”
The world is confused.
Global fear is escalating.
The media fuels (and feeds on) unrest, unease, and suspicion.
The future is uncertain.
There is a shaking going on in our world, a world that is searching for stability, direction, and hope. I ask myself, and ask God, daily: what is a healthy response? What is God calling me to do? Should I remain silent or should I speak?
1 Peter 4:7-10 gives us seven key actions that—when practiced—can begin to calm our fears, stabilize our footing, and illuminate our way forward.
- Be clear-minded, which prepares us to pray effectively. We need to saturate our minds with truth, guided by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:5-6).
- Be self-controlled, which is only possible if we humble ourselves before the Lord and submit to being controlled by the Spirit of God who lives in us (Romans 8:9).
- Pray, boldly, effectively, and with certainty, because we are aligned with the Spirit of God. Resolute peace can be found when we surrender our concerns to the Lord.
- Love each other deeply, which images God in the world. Transformative love toward others comes only from an understanding and acceptance of God’s deep love for us.
- Offer hospitality by making your home a place of safety and refreshment for others, even—and especially—the refugee.
- Offer grace, in all its forms, by elevating others above yourself.
- Use your gifts in service to others, acknowledging that they are—in fact—gifts to you, from God, to be used not for your own benefit but for the encouragement and edification of others.
We are hearing of wars and rumors of wars, as we were warned in Matthew 24:6. But we must also “see to it that [we] are not alarmed.” Taking to heart Peter’s instructions, we can allow God to soothe our fears and calm our anxiety, instead of willing ourselves into peace, which—at least in my experience—isn’t really possible anyway. As we obey God—by praying, by loving, by serving others—our lives will stand as beacons in the darkness, shining brightly for all the world to see the One their hearts are longing to find.