The news of the past few weeks has shocked and even frightened many of us. We watched with sadness at the television footage of the massacre in Paris, which bought back the painful memories of 9-11. Like many others, I wondered if a major terror incident was imminent in the United States. Then we witnessed the shootings in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and wondered how anyone could think that killing people at an abortion clinic would solve anything.
Yesterday I sat glued to the television as the commentator talked about the ongoing tragedy in San Bernardino, California, and also learned of four other killings in Georgia. Later that evening, a widow friend told me she was propositioned in broad daylight at a Cosco parking lot. I was reminded of several Scriptures that seemed to sum up the daily onslaught of discouraging news.
The apostle Paul told Timothy, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” I also thought of the first part of Isaiah 60:2, “For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples …” The King James Version labels it “gross darkness.”
What are we supposed to do? As widows we are alone and often feel powerless in difficult situations. And I must admit that I have a tendency to worry. How do I, how do we, face today’s challenges? In times likes these, I’m so glad God’s Word gives us some insight.
In both the Old and New Testaments, God told people they were not to be fearful when confronting trouble. Joshua is only one of many examples. When he assumed leadership of the Israelites, he was told to be “strong and courageous and do not be terrified or discouraged” (Joshua 1:9). And there was a reason! “For the Lord your God is with you.” Also the Psalmist David often declared that he was not afraid because God was at his side.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us not to worry (Matthew 6:25-34). The apostle Paul said, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6-7).
One of my favorite Scripture verses is James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” What a wonderful promise for widows! Throughout the day, we can say, “Lord, I need your help in this situation. Give me wisdom and help me not to worry. Help me to trust you in this conflict.”
With God’s help, we can face even today’s great challenges with peace knowing that He hears our every prayer and is with us.