“All of the nuclear-armed states are increasing or upgrading their arsenals and most are sharpening nuclear rhetoric” (Wilfred Wan, Director at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute).
“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars … For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom … See that you are not troubled” (Matthew 24:6-7).
These two quotes, written almost 2,000 years apart, give an edge to our present time. However, we must focus on Christ’s admonition to not be troubled. The word used for troubled indicates that we should not be frightened. This does not mean that there are not things that can frighten. Wars and rumors of wars are frightening. For the most part, these things happen far from us, and we go about our daily lives as if we will not be impacted. But now, these events are moving in closer to the reality of daily life.
Being troubled or frightened is a matter of perspective. If we focus on the factors of life that are being affected by world turmoil – soaring inflation, steep price increases, civil unrest, etc. – we have no answers to these issues. Without answers, the human spirit will be troubled.
But God provides a Spirit that opens up a different perspective. We can see the unseen. God provides answers that we can see and hold fast. If you are not spending time in the scriptures, you may miss these answers or not hold them as fast as we need to. For example:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? … Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident” (Psalm 27:1,3).
“He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord” (Psalm 112:7).
“Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. The Lord of hosts, Him shall you hallow; Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread” (Isaiah 8:12-13).
“Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me … Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:1, 27).
Christ clearly understood there would be troubling times that His people would have to live through. Those times must come. The kingdoms of men must be brought to naught before God’s Kingdom will be established. Focusing on God’s plan and purpose will help us not be troubled.
Simply put, how much time do we spend on world news and associated social issues versus how much time do we spend reading the Word of God?
The answer to that will be an indicator of whether we are troubled or faith-filled. If we can clearly see the unseen, then God will be our strength, and we will not be afraid.