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home : religion : religion November 20, 2017

11/1/2017 4:09:00 PM
How To Live In Fearful Times

Dr. Stanley Spence, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Lincolnton, N.C.

Every day we are bombarded by the language of the important things around us. They seem to increase constantly. There is the threat of war with North Korea, emerging changes in all of society coming with artificial intelligence (computer advancement), and the internal strife of those who feel we are still a segregated society. These items are described as the lead up to WW3, the coming ‘post human age’ of technology and civil disagreement of American patriotism. The response of many is business as usual. Who is playing football tonight, or who is going out to eat with us? In other words, we are powerless to change the outcomes so we take a course of life as usual--do not stress about it. However, with WW3, we face a draft and the potential loss of life in greater numbers than ever before. With onset of emerging technology, we face the greatest number of layoffs the modern culture has ever seen. With a segregated country at the hearts of those who feel like the victims and the denial of those who feel as though everything is alright, we face a gap in national unity challenging the stability of our future.

These problems are not new. Every society addresses similar challenges, only this time the stakes could not be higher. This time it will be our family and friends who face the monsters of our time. How do we engage in problems much greater than our influence without letting our spirits get drawn down in the process? Relying on faith to change the events is a common practice; but in truth, we should be praying to be a constant example in the face of these events--no matter what. How would God have you act on His behalf in the face of each of these challenges? The older I get the more obvious it becomes; we cannot avoid every challenge that comes our way, much less manipulate it to our satisfactory conclusion. We can, however, be Christian as we go. We can uphold a high standard of Christian values with our lives. In the midst of fearful events, I am reminded of  1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” NIV

We should seek to be an example of genuine love in the face of each encounter. By doing this, the world may be inspired to think more highly of God than they previously did. It occurs to this writer, God could have invested His love in a robot from the beginning, but he did not. He could have stopped the development of weapons of war; He did not. God could have created us all the same color and intellect, but He did not. We are a diverse people in many ways. He created us over robots and set about loving us; and God would rather we work out our problems than destroy ourselves with weapons of mass destruction. Love was His weapon of mass destruction. It was meant to destroy hatred, bigotry, and fear of all kinds. When we love, we become the answer to someone’s problem. It is a good plan. Overcome sin with genuine love, as the Father has loved you.

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