The evening after the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine began, I received a two-word text from a relative that directly communicated his feelings: “It’s scary!” Indeed, life circumstances (name your issue: the economy, the pandemic, terrorism, inflation, family challenges, health concerns…) have a way of stirring up one of our most common and powerful enemies—fear.

The evil one often uses fear to steal our resolve and wither our hearts. The biblical list of evidence for this is extensive. Whether it is Egyptian chariots charging toward the escaping Hebrew people, Goliath taunting the Israelite army, the Assyrian king threatening King Hezekiah and Judah, Nebuchadnezzar shouting threats at the three Jewish young men, or a servant girl in a courtyard asking Peter an uncomfortable question, the underlying voice is the same: “Be afraid—be very afraid!”

Perhaps Satan’s hope is that we, like “deer in the headlights,” would be paralyzed into inactivity. Similarly, he celebrates when we are swept along by the current of fear into rivers of worry, discouragement, and even disobedience.

It is no accident, then, that throughout Scripture the voice of God repeatedly responds with this reminder: “Do not fear!” As Isaiah 41:10 so powerfully puts it, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

What is the issue that is tempting you toward fear? World geopolitical events? “The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.” (Psalm 110:5) Health issues? “I am the LORD, who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26) Provision in times of uncertainty? “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) Isolation or loneliness? “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

We as God’s children have the precious promises of God and the confidence that His love is certain. So, we have the privilege of pointing others to Jesus–the answer to the fear that is so prevalent all around us. As I John 4:17-18 summarizes so well, “This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear….”

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Interested in learning more about the work God is doing in our region and how you can become part of it? Our prayer is that God would use us to reach the almost 12 million people who call Ohio home with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We would love to help further explore how we can partner together with you to achieve this vision. Join us in ensuring everyone in Ohio has an opportunity to respond to the life-saving Good News of Jesus.

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