Every day our headline news seems to contain something [or, indeed, many things] to cause anxiety and fear. There is a vast increase in instant access to world events and information when compared to the early half of the last century. This may cause us to feel more enlightened and knowledgeable, but there is also a great deal more to worry about! Here in England the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London have dominated the networks. Death, grief, injury, lives torn apart, uncertainty, fear, all unite to create a nation prey to a range of conflicting and potentially debilitating emotions. Extraordinarily, Yahshua prophesied about the very times in which we live when He was here on the earth more than 2000 years ago. He said, “Nations will have wars with other nations. Countries will fight against countries. The earth will shake and break apart in different places. There will be no food for people. There will be much trouble.” [Mark 13:8 NLV]. We see this being fulfilled all around us; scripture teaches us that it will grow worse.
As I was preparing for service on Shavuot I received a text message from a friend who was feeling so frightened by the unpredictability of terrorist targets that she was seriously considering boycotting the meeting! Yahshua famously said, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.” [Luke 12:4 NIV]. Then, on the night before He died, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you…Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” [John 14:27NIV] He understands what it’s like to face a terrifying unknown, but He reassures us that we don’t need to be afraid.
The prophet Isaiah brought comfort and strength to Israel when, speaking of Yahweh, he said, “He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of [Yahweh] is the key to this treasure.” [Isa. 33:6 NIV] As I read this, I thrilled to the thought that respect and reverence for Yahweh are the key to having a sure foundation in these troubled times.
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