My Facebook feed is filled with fear. I’m not sure in my lifetime I’ve seen so much fear, not even after 9/11.
“I used to spend ninety per cent of my constituent response time on people who call, e-mail, or send a letter, such as, ‘I really like this bill, H.R. 123,’ and they really believe in it because they heard about it through one of the groups that they belong to, but their view was based on actual legislation,” Nunes said. “Ten per cent were about ‘Chemtrails from airplanes are poisoning me’ to every other conspiracy theory that’s out there. And that has essentially flipped on its head.” The overwhelming majority of his constituent mail is now about the far-out ideas, and only a small portion is “based on something that is mostly true.” He added, “It’s dramatically changed politics and politicians, and what they’re doing.”
Conspiracy theories are breeding grounds for fears. Both the theories and fears fertilized thereby can be irrational. Many of these fears are stoked by so-called media outlets rushing to publish the most click-baity articles, facts not necessary.
Marco Rubio says “People are really scared and worried” as a result of ISIS/Daesh. He knows people afraid to go to a mall or stadium.
Fear of bombings.
Fear of mass shootings.
Fear of Syrian refugees.
Fear of European immigration.
Fear of illegal immigration.
Fear of Muslims.
Fear of Obama.
Fear of gun regulation.
Fear of gun confiscation.
Fear of ISIS.
Fear of what has happened.
Fear of what might happen.
I am not afraid.
I do not fear bombings, mass shootings, Syrian refugees, European immigration, illegal immigration, Muslims, Obama, gun regulation, gun confiscation, ISIS, what has happened, or what might happen.
This lack of fear is not because I fancy myself Superman, Rambo, Mr. Officer John McClain, Joan of Arc, or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I am not afraid because my Father told me not to be afraid, and He told me a lot of times.
Be not afraid.
God’s people in the Old Testament were tried throughout their history, yet the Old Testament is overflowing with “Fear not.” Open its pages and “fear not” spills onto your lap in such volume your cat will be forced to relocate. Saints in the first century have more in common with Christians in ISIS-controlled Syria and Iraq than with Christians in the U.S, yet were warned against having a spirit of fear.
God does not give His a spirit of fear, so the source is stupid easy to isolate. And reject.
Fear is like a virus. Fear infects what we think, and how we act. It’s one of the ways we get mob behavior (anger being another). Faith in God’s promises are the inoculation against the virus.
If your fear is alleviated by the thought of sending troops into battle instead of by the God who rules the universe, then you have a misplaced faith.
Followers of Jesus, you cannot spend five hours a day submerged in fear-mongering media then five minutes a day skipping through a devotional and expect to have your faith increased. Your inner fire will flame hot from whichever fuel you feed it.
Perhaps it is fitting our world is in such disarray during this season. It provides an easy reminder.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were very afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.