When World News Gets Scary . . .

Read the headlines and you’ll quickly discover that when it comes to world affairs, the news isn’t good. It’s hard to ignore the fact that unrest is spreading across the Middle East. Revolutions in Tunsunia and Egypt have sparked protests in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and Iran. It seems that words like “unrest” and “turmoil” have worked their way in to everyone’s vocabulary. 

Don’t worry, this isn’t a social studies lesson. I’m not going to ask you to report the political and economic reasons for what’s happening in the world.

This isn’t a post about the End Times either. There are plenty of people, much smarter than me who cannot say for certain whether what’s happening in the Middle East is a sign of Christ’s coming or not. (That’s because Jesus told us that no one knows the hour or the day of His return in Matthew 24:36).

This is a post about how we should respond when the world around us goes topsy-turvy. Can I be honest? There are times when what’s going on in the world scares me. I don’t like to hear about revolutions I don’t understand. I get uneasy when I hear reports that what’s happening in the Middle East will impact our economy by driving up gas and grocery prices. I start to worry when I can’t wrap my brain around what’s happening and can’t know for sure how it will impact my life and the lives of those I love.

I know that some of you are feeling anxious too. So, as Christians, how should we respond when the world news is bleak? For my own peace of mind, I went back and re-read the transcripts from Nancy’s radio series titled “Hope for Uncertain Times.”

She gave some great reminders for how we can respond when the world news isn’t good. 

#1: We can choose how we respond to bad news.

Nancy said, “If your focus is on your circumstances (outward) or yourself (inward) rather than upward on God, then you’re going to fall into fear and insecurity. You’re going to start hoarding, clinging to what you have, and you’re going to end up depressed and in despair.

That’s the downward cycle that so many people are on today, even some believers. What it means to be a believer in Christ is to have a very different kind of response:

• Rather than fear, we respond in faith.
• Rather than insecurity, we place our confidence in the Lord.
• Rather than hoarding, we demonstrate generosity.

#2: We may not know everything, but there are some things we know for sure.

Nancy reminded me that through God’s Word, we can know Truth even when we don’t know the outcome of the circumstances around us:

• We know that our hope is found in Christ, not in governments, politics, or world events (Ephesians 1:12). • We know that we’re not to be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6).
• We know that God has promised to meet our needs (Philippians 4:19).
• We know that we are to share the hope of Christ with others (1 Peter 3:15).

#3: Fear doesn’t belong in our hearts.

Hebrews 13:5b-6 says, “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’”

It doesn’t matter what’s happening on the world stage or in your individual life, God’s got it under control. Fear won’t do us any good. Because we know Jesus as Savior we can face what’s happening in the news the same way the virtuous woman faced her circumstances: “Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the days to come” (Proverbs 31:25 ).

I can’t tell you how the chips are going to fall in the Middle East. I can’t predict when our economy will rebound or if Jesus is coming back for us tomorrow. But I do know that He has promised to care for us and that when our hope is in Him we have no need to fear.

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