In my journey through the Book of Truth, I have discovered that crime and fear and frustration at it, is not new. The first hijacking and anger at how people get away from crime, is succinctly described in Psalm 10 vss 1-2
“Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.”
(Sounds like abuse of retirement funds – leaving pensioners penniless.) Further on, maybe the world’s first reference to a hijacking, vs8
“He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent, watching in secret for his victims.”
The psalmist laments about how evil people get away with brutality and violence. But in the end he concludes (verse 14) “But you , O God, DO see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand.”
Hi-jackings, violence and even corruption all appear in the Bible..
2 Chronicles. Chapter 27 vs 2b says, “The people however continued their corrupt practices.”
That was all taking place under a just and God-fearing King. As I consider how to overcome my fear of crime and the future, 5 points come to mind to keep me focussed on where my trust lies.
1. We are just passing through. This world is not our home. It is a stopping place amidst everlasting life. We feel it keenly because it is all we know. I try and see myself as an inhabitant of heaven, just hanging out on earth right now.
2. We can’t figure it all out here on earth. There are always going to be things we don’t understand….devastating tragedy that is entirely out of our hands. But we are a fragment of a much bigger picture which we will never see or try and work out this side of eternity. I try not to figure it all out or explain it because I know I can’t. All I can do, like the psalmist says, is trust that God does see trouble and grief and He will take it in hand.
3. Lay It Down. The fear that grips my optimistic heart the most, is fear that something dreadful may happen to my family. It bites the hardest – it raises panic – it fills me with anxiety. All I can do to cope with it, is to continually lay it down and commit it entirely to God. To mentally imagine my family in God’s hands. He’s holding them. He loves them more than I do. He has their future. If God allows them to die before me, I will see them again. It is a thought process I don’t dwell on. It’s too much to bear, so when I feel it rising, I quell it as soon as I can, laying their safety all down before Jesus. I cannot carry this burden.
4. To keep from sinking into a mire of despair, we need to focus on the positive. Look for it. Stop and admire the view. Remind yourself of all the wonderful things in your life. Don’t focus on the bad – don’t talk about how bad it all is. If you find yourself wanting to dwell on misery, rather retrain your mind to pray about it. I have travelled enough to have experienced that Cape Town is a wonderful place to live. It is the most beautiful city in the world. I count my blessings.
5. “Make up your mind.” To really get the right attitude, we need to know the right Person. Jesus has got the whole world in His hands. If we can trust Him with 100% of our lives (which we can), then we can rest assured that whatever happens, He is faithful and He will carry us through whatever comes our way. What got this blog started this morning was a Bible verse out of Romans 14. It’s largely about being judgemental, but there are parts of two verses that apply to so many other things. Part of verse 13 says, “Make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.” Verse 17 says, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
For me, to overcome the fear of the future, I have to make up my mind to embrace what God wants for me – that being righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Along with that comes memorising some of God’s promises…
I will trust Him.
Keep the smile going!
God bless you!
In His Grip,