Should Christians fear terrorists?
By Jonathan Howes
I, like many of you, was shocked when I heard of the recent terror attacks in Paris, France on Friday, November 13, 2015. My heart and prayers go out to the family and friends of the innocent victims and the entire country of France.
It’s hard for us to fathom how a group of people could do such horrible crimes in the name of religion. It is simply pure evil.
The goal of terrorism is to terrorize us. These evil people want nothing more than for us to walk around in fear. They want us to be immobilized by fear. They do not want us to experience freedom or the good life, the abundant life that we find through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Should Christians fear terrorists? The simple answer is, “No.” In Romans 8:31, it says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” As Christians, God is our Heavenly Father. He loves and cares for us. Ultimately, God is Sovereign and nothing can happen to us apart from His control.
Over 350 times in the Bible, God tells his people, “Do you be afraid” or “Do not fear”. The reason he tells us not to fear is because he is with us. Over and over again through the Bible, God instructs us not to fear because he is with us. Let me share a few passages with you. In Joshua 1:9 God says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you where you go.” In Isaiah 41:10, God says, “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.” And in Hebrews 13:5b-6 God says, ‘“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’”
Over and over again throughout the Bible, God tells us not to be afraid, because he is with us. We need to take God at his word. We need to trust in him. If God is for us, who can be against us? The Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
We need to choose faith over fear. Instead of being fearful, we need to place our faith and trust in God. One of the ways that we can choose faith over fear is to feed our faith and not our fears. One of life’s principles is, “What we feed grows. And what we starve dies.” If we feed our faith, our faith will grow. If we starve our faith, our faith will die. If we feed our fears, our fears will grow. And if we starve our fears, our fears will die.
We do not need to sit around all day watching Fox News and feeding our fears. Yes, we need to watch the news. Yes, we need to be informed. But let’s not fall into the trap of feeding our fears. Instead of worrying about our world, we need to pray and trust God.
Philippians 4:6-8 says, “ 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. 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.” We need to put the right things into our hearts and minds. We need to feed our faith by meditating on the truth of God’s word.
Do we need to fear terrorists? No! We simply need to trust God. I hope the truth of God’s word encourages and helps you. Let’s feed our faith and not our fears. Let’s put our faith in a Sovereign God who is ultimately in control of all things.
Jonathan Howes has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from Jacksonville State University and a Master in Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the lead pastor for Graystone Church. Locations include the Ozora Campus: 1551 Ozora Road | Loganville, GA 30052 and the Walton Campus: 723 N Broad St Monroe, GA 30655.