Saturday, November 18, 2017
   
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Peace in an Age of Terrorism

ron-graff-dirAfter the last two mass murder events, just one week apart, experts are saying that the U.S. is now under attack—guerilla-style—by Islamic terrorists.  Their goal is to make us fearful about carrying on our normal activities.

Fortunately, for true Christians, who are filled with the Spirit, we have an antidote to the paralyzing effect of terrorism, and we have a message of hope to those who are living in hatred or fear.

We live in San Bernardino, just a few miles from the latest horrific incident. One of the first reactions we all had to this atrocity was to wonder if we could suffer from the same senseless kind of attack. We have always felt so safe in our great country. But recent headlines remind us that, worldwide, Christians are the most persecuted people in the world.

In spite of the threat, I am happy to say that, because of the work of the Holy Spirit, we are experiencing the powerful positive “Fruit of the Spirit,” including Love, Joy, and Peace! (Galatians 5:22-23)

God’s Word is full of promises about overcoming fear and experiencing supernatural peace. Some commentators have noticed that there are at least 365 places in the Bible that encourage us not to be afraid. That would be a new dose of courage every day of the year!

Here are just a few of those passages, and others that stress the love, joy and peace that are given to us:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. – Psalm 23:6

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? – Psalm 27:1

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7

[Jesus said] Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

[Jesus said] These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

[Jesus said] But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. – Matthew 5:44

During this Christmas season we celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace to redeem sinful humans from the penalty of sin if they will truly accept His gift of eternal life.

Even those who hate us and our way of life can, and sometimes do, find new life in Christ.

Those of us who experience this supernatural love and peace should take advantage of this world-wide crisis to share the message, here at home, and around the world, that God is love. In fact,  He so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, so that those who believe in Him might not perish but have eternal life (John 1:12; John 3:16).

By Ron Graff

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