Fear seems to be ruling many hearts these days. People are afraid of viral infection and the possibilities of grave illness or death; loss of jobs, savings, homes, or other possessions. Fear of going out; fear of staying in; fear of government over-reach, and the list goes on. One person told me that she lies awake at night worrying about losing family members to the coronavirus. What does God’s Word say to this? Continue reading
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! ~ Philippians 4:4 NIV
The Apostle Paul wrote these words in his final message to the church at Philippi from prison. I have become so negative in the past year I realize that I need to practice rejoicing. What a difference I can make in God’s kingdom if only I will remember Paul’s message to believers:
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:5-7 NIV
On Resurrection Day, the victory belongs to Jesus. He conquered the grave, and the angels proclaimed to the women who discovered the empty tomb, “Do not be afraid! ” “Do not be afraid!”.
Jesus appeared to the women near the tomb and to His disciples later with greetings of “Do not be afraid!” and “Peace be unto you!”.
Today we can rejoice in our faith that Jesus is a Living Savior. There are no decayed remains of Jesus in a tomb or grave somewhere in Jerusalem. We can rest in the knowledge that God’s Word records a world shattering event when Jesus rose from the darkness of the grave. Jesus broke the chains of the penalty for our sins, and therefore salvation is free to all who believe in Him. Jesus sits at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven today. PRAISE GOD FOR SO GREAT SALVATION!
Even though the church is under attack and believers suffer persecution for following Christ (over 900,000 Christians killed per year); don’t let anyone steal your joy as you observe Resurrection Day. Celebrate the fullness of life in Jesus with family and friends and remain steadfast in your faith that Jesus is Risen.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. ~ Philippians 4:8-9 NIV
“I will practice, Lord. I will practice rejoicing and enjoy your gift of peace.”
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Remaining in a state of indecision is like casting one’s mind into the midst of a tornado. Thoughts like a whirlwind can churn so chaotically that a person’s moods and behaviors may be adversely effected. Indecision is not fear that you will be late for an appointment, but is more encompassing. Indecision is the spirit of fear. It can affect individuals and even nations:
“A double minded man is unstable in all of his ways.” ~ James 1:8 (KJV)
Indecision is one symptom of chronic stress that is brought about by fear and may manifest as panic; not knowing which way to turn. One may become stuck; virtually paralyzed by fear; thinking that no course of direction seems safe; or conversely, may charge off in random directions without purpose. Fear, if unchecked, can destabilize anyone. Indecisiveness, in all of its debilitating forms, is clearly shown in God’s Word as being ruled by the overshadowing spirit of fear, which can lead to broken relationships, loss of employment, depression, poor physical health; and ultimately, self destruction. If you have been struggling with fear or indecision,
You may be on shaky ground emotionally, but you are certainly not the Lone Ranger. It can happen to anyone – believers or unbelievers alike. If you can’t seem to make up your mind in today’s complicated world, take heart! God understands:
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” ~ I Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
So God didn’t create our spirit of fear, but He HAS given us the power to overcome it and to restore us with a sound mind through faith and the study of His Word. Our magnificent Father is mighty to save and powerful to heal.
But wait! There may be another contributing factor in the valley of decision ruled by the spirit of fear. Have you ever felt like screaming, “I am at a loss!”? Sometimes indecision can be caused by information overload:
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” ~ Daniel 12:4 (KJV)
Most people in the world are immersed in data; to the point of many being in a constant state of information overload via computers, the internet, television, media, and access to mega data storage/retrieval systems. Is there a connection between time of the end, running to and fro, increased knowledge and the problem of both individual and national indecision? Increased knowledge, or data, may be adequately managed by computer systems, governing systems, or economic systems, but what effect, if any, does it have on human mental health?
There are many Bible scholars, ministers, and believers who are convinced that we are living at the time of the end; or in the end times; just prior to the time when Jesus will return to this earth, destroy man’s failed governments, then set up and rule His own perfect kingdom of 1,000 years, otherwise known as The Millennium, or Millennial Age (Revelation, chapter 20).
The end times is not defined as a specific number of years in the Bible, but only a time period that is near the end of this world as we know it. During the end times, as told in the Old Testament to the Prophet Daniel by an angelic messenger from God, many humans will be running to and fro. Some believe this scripture in the Book of Daniel refers simply to a time when world-wide travel is very advanced compared to ancient times of this prophecy. It could also mean an age of distress; when people are in a condition of panic mode; wildly running scared from some terror (or terrorism); or frenzied racing around without direction (spirit of fear). Today even the movie industry has capitalized upon end times prophesy by promoting an apocalyptic view of disaster and foreboding – possibly contributing to further infection of audiences with a dreadful spirit of fear.
The end times is also described as a period of time when knowledge is increased. Increased knowledge has ushered in an age of space exploration, scientific and medical advancements; but no peace. In our present technologically advanced age, most people would agree that knowledge has increased rapidly since World War I (WWI), but no community on the planet is out of reach from the threat of total annihilation from weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
Since WWII there have been wars fought in the name of WMDs prevention; and treaties made between nations regulating WMDs. Yet this global effort has not brought peace or stability to the earth so far. This is evidence to many that we already live in the perilous times of the last days. Generations of populations living under this evil threat could be so fearful of impending doom that it is a pervading underlying cause of national fear – which sparks nations to produce more such weaponry in the name of defense, and the cycle continues. Because of a spirit of fear of global annihilation, entire doomsday-thinking populations may be easily manipulated and controlled by power-seeking or terrorist governments. Yes, as if WMDs are not scary enough, earth’s global community is now operating under a spirit of fear due to terrorist attacks.
By understanding there is a connection between time of the end, running to and fro and increased knowledge in God’s Word, we may go deeper and offer that the angelic messenger who visited the prophet, Daniel, described an age identical to our century. Increased knowledge and data overload or the activity of manipulating data (think of cell phone texting alone) may also be linked to the problem of both individual and national indecision. There is no question that knowledge has increased (past tense). People already do run to and fro (again, past tense). There also seems to be an epidemic of double mindedness world wide, as evidenced by reports of political and social upheaval in the news daily. Whether or not we are living in the time of the end, scripture seems to support in favor.
If you are gripped by a spirit of fear for whatever reason and still don’t understand why, just take a deep breath. Turn off the news, and spend time with YHVH, our Elohim. Ask God to clear your head, bring peace into your heart, and settle your spirit. Ask Him for guidance over your life and wisdom in decision making.
The Apostle Paul had this to say about the end times in his second letter to Timothy:
“But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” ~ II Timothy 2:16 (KJV)
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves …” ~ II Timothy 3:1-2a (KJV)
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. ~ II Timothy 3:5 (KJV)
“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” ~ II Timothy 3:7 (KJV)
Tips to consider (in laymen’s terms):
- Avoid egotistical, profane blabbermouths (II Timothy 2:16), for associating with them will only escalate into more ungodliness. Foul speech is indecent; it is a slippery slope that spirals ever downward into hopelessly confusing indecisiveness.
“But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:29 (NLT)
- Study God’s Word:
“For God is not the author of confusion.” ~ (I Cor. 14:33).
- In the end days, self centeredness will abound. People will appear to be saintly or Godly, but their associations prove their hypocracy. Consider how that may be playing out in our modern age today. God’s Word says not to hang with them and if we are in doubt about who these people are, the Apostle Paul identifies them in a list of the ungodly: lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (II Timothy 3:2-5). It reads exactly like the attributes of the Antichrist! So then, is ungodliness similar to indecisiveness? This is where we started – at the crossroads of decision. Time to choose the path that is straight, not crooked; the path of wisdom. Don’t walk – RUN from them!
- In the end days, there may be an increase in knowledge along with an increase in education but neither advancement appears to lead people to Truth (II Timothy 3:7). God’s Word is saying that He understands what leads to indecision, that these are scary, perilous times, but there is only one Hope; only one Truth.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” ~ John 14:6 (KJV)
Pray for deliverance from a spirit of fear. God is faithful, and will set you on the path of assertiveness and stability, which means peace of mind. There is nothing like it. Promise.
“The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him.” ~ Lamentations 3:24 (KJV)
“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” ~II Timothy 4:18 (KJV)
Peace to you, and God bless.
For anyone who is interested, there is a list of end time prophetic signs at this link 26 End Time Signs.