Over three years ago, following the Boston Marathon attack that killed and injured our fellow citizens, I shared the following blog with you, my friends here in cyber-space. As I thought about the events of this week in Las Vegas, and the horrific pain, terror, and heartache inflicted by one man, these words came back to mind. Fear is a formidable foe, which takes on many forms — as many as there are evil designs in the minds of twisted men. But we are a resilient people, and at times such as these, we experience our nation’s Foundation of Faith holding us up, comforting us, and keeping us from being consumed and buried in the ashes of such tragedy.
However, truth is truth. Whether 9-11, Boston, Chattanooga, San Bernardino, or Las Vegas, the truth about how we respond in such times, and where we need to go from here, remains the same…
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.” ~ Psalm 46:1
Our prayers continue for the families of the victims, for those injured, for the people of Las Vegas, and for a nation in mourning.
After following the news in the wake of this week’s terror attack, it is obvious and understandable that emotions in our nation are running the gamut.
We are saddened by the physical and emotional pain that our friends and fellow Americans are facing as a result of those killed and injured. Our prayers for healing and comfort go out to the victims and their families during this time…
We are angry that someone had the audacity to commit this heinous crime…
We are confused as to why and how this could have happened. Who committed this act? Why did they do it? As our fine law enforcement officials investigate, we believe that answers will be forthcoming.
We are afraid. Many people in our nation are now living in fear on a variety of levels:
People are in fear that it could happen again.
Witnesses may face fear from the memories of that horrific day.
Victims are fearful of moving forward into a future of uncertainty.
Terror, by it’s very definition, is about eliciting a fear response. Terror means “extreme fear”. Terrorism is not simply about killing and wounding innocent men, women, and children; it is about inciting fear in those who remain, and causing people to live in fear.
The problem we face is that fear (terror) is a vicious cycle. Fear is a magnet to demons. The more we discuss and voice our fear with our lips, the more demons are attracted to the atmosphere of fear. Fear is more than emotion… fear is a spirit. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that…
“God has not not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind“.
In the Bible, Job was considered a righteous man. However, Job had a fatal flaw. In Job 3:25, Job confesses:
“For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me,
and what I dreaded has happened to me.”
Job feared the loss of his children and his treasures, and Satan was drawn to that fear. And while we may think that fear is an unavoidable part of life, living in fear is an existence that we do not have to settle for. 1 John 4:18 tells us that “perfect love casts out fear“, and in Proverbs 29:25, we have this promise:
The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.
Abraham Lincoln is arguably the greatest president our country has ever seen. However, history bears out that he lost every single election he ran until he ran for president. What if he had allowed fear from past experiences to convince him to quit? How different would our country look today.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela once said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” For the believer in Jesus Christ, the opposite of fear is more than courage… it is faith and hope.
For those of you that watch my television program, Ron Phillips from Abba’s House, you are familiar with my co-host, Angie McGregor. What many of you may not realize is that Angie is a gifted songwriter and singer. Several years ago, in the immediate shadow of 9/11, Angie released a song that resonates today. Having faced down some fear in her own life, she penned the song simply titled, I Will Not Fear. After the events of 9/11, this song took on a whole new meaning for all of us that heard it.
— from the CD Could We Dance? ©Copyright 2002 FacePlace Music
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. ~ II Corinthians 1:3-5