There is a lot to fear in the world today.
Ebola. ISIS. War. Tornadoes. Financial collapse. Earthquakes. Crime. Murders in Chicago.
In the midst of this, let's all remember that God is in control - and - we can live with courage (given to us by the Holy Spirit) on a daily basis.
Bill Hybels analyzes what he calls "destructive fear," the kind of fear that tricks us into believing, beyond what is reasonable, that the world is an ominous and dangerous place.
"History is filled with men and women who said no to destructive fear and changed the world. But imagine if they had given in to the paralyzing effects of fear on their lives. Imagine the apostle Paul, fearing resistance or rejection, choosing to stay home rather than embarking on the missionary journeys that took the message of Christ throughout the known world.
Imagine Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. giving speeches filled with gentle hints about the evils of segregation, because he feared pushing too hard. Instead, King championed the civil rights movement against racial segregation in the United States.
Imagine Rosa Parks, during that same era in American history submitting to the bus driver's command to give up her seat to a white person.
Imagine Nelson Mandela looking the other way when he witnessed and experienced apartheid in South Africa, because he didn't want to make a fuss. Instead, he spent twenty-seven years imprisoned and brought apartheid onto the world's radar, helping end the centuries-old regime of oppression.
Imagine Malala Yousafzai passively quitting school, because she was too frightened by the death threats she received from Taliban extremists, who abhor education for girls. Instead, she became even more vocal about the educational rights of children and women, survived a 2012 assassination attempt, and was a Nobel Peace Prize nominee in 2013 and 2014.
Imagine yourself, fully aware of the mission and vision God has placed in your heart to advance his kingdom in this world, yet held hostage to phobias, irrational worries, and destructive fears of failure, harm, or rejection. If you don't fulfill the mission God assigned to you, who will?"
My encouragement to you today is to live with the courage that God gives you, for God has not given you a spirit of fear, but a spirit of love, courage and a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:8.
When the enemy and fear comes knocking at the door, ask Jesus to answer it. And dwell in his peace that passes all understanding.
Just a thought for a Wednesday.