“The righteous will be remembered forever. He will not fear evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is upheld, he will not fear, . . . “-Psalm 112:6b-8a
Sometimes I feel a little guilty that I’m not freaking out with the rest of the world when something bad happens, and a lot of bad happens these days. I get outraged and sad, and deeply affected by atrocities and injustice. Especially where children are concerned. I was so upset after watching news of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 that my husband banned me from watching the news. I’ve watched very few newscasts since then. You don’t have to watch the news anymore, just scroll your Facebook feed or jump on Twitter and there it is. Bad news can make me angry or sad, but very seldom afraid.
I know what fear feels like, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been caught in its grip many times, especially before I knew that I didn’t have to be afraid. Before I knew the Creator of the universe and His sovereignty. Before Jesus in my life there was a lot of fear and uncertainty. I had no idea what the future held and very little idea of how to successfully navigate the present. I reacted a lot. There was no anchor for my soul and I floundered all over the place. In hindsight, I really wonder where I’d be today if I hadn’t had the Lord to help me navigate the past 24-years.
We have a sort of running joke in our family. Whenever someone asks, “What is this world coming to?” someone else will answer, “An end.” My eldest son started that and while it seemed kind of funny at first, the fact is, it’s the truth. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! . . . God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” -Revelation 21:1-8 NLT
God will have His justice on the evil in the world; “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ” VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.” -Romans 12:19 NASB. He knows everything that goes on and His timetable has purpose. I know it’s hard to understand how a loving God could let such terrible things happen. I wrestle with that myself. I am convinced, however, that He sees the beginning from the end and His understanding of history is vastly different from ours, beyond our comprehension in fact. This world that we know will be replaced one day with something brand new. Sin and evil will be gone along with all those who chose separation from God.
For me, the idea of separation from God scares me more than anything. Here and now as well as for eternity. There is where any true fear lies for me. Fortunately, my soul is secure in Christ and I have nothing to fear. If I were to die today by any means, my soul would live forever with Jesus in the “everything new” that He is creating. “But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” -Acts 2:21 NLT. “But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.” -Hebrews 10:39 NLT. He is my Savior and the Lord of my life – forever! He is with me here and now, giving my life purpose and working all things out for my good and He will be with me forever. Not just me, but all who call on the name of Jesus!
The only thing to truly fear is God, Who can destroy body and soul in hell (Matthew 10:28 paraphrased). But those who know and love Him have nothing to fear. He is the anchor for their soul and not even death can destroy them. Their souls are secure and their lives are guided. Everything that happens to them has purpose whether it’s readily obvious or not. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” -Romans 8:28 NASB.
This life is fleeting, a mere breath; “Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.” -Psalms 144:4 NASB. One day none of this will exist and all the evil will be gone. The question I ask myself is how do I want to spend this breath; being afraid out of reflex and being of no use to anyone or living in the peace of God with my focus on Him and maybe help some others do the same? I choose the latter. How about you?