I recently heard a sermon titled “The Kingdom of God and the Culture of Fear” (check it out here). In this sermon, the preacher talks about “peddlers of fear,” people and organizations that actually make a profit on producing fear. This is not the type of fear that a haunted house sells. This fear is the type that we might feel when we hear of natural disasters, violent protests, or random shooting rampages. In fact, just this weekend in Kalamazoo, MI six people were killed by an Uber driver who went on a random shooting rampage. See the news footage – Kalamazoo Shooting Suspect Charged. It is a tragedy that should have never happened. It should break our hearts that these things happen in the world, but it does not mean that we should lock ourselves inside for fear of something like this happening to us.
It is a good thing to be informed. We need to know about what is happening in the world and to be aware of the social issues going on around us. As Christians, however, we are free from being paralyzed by fear when watching the nightly news. As emphasized in the sermon, we have a hope to cling to that conquers all fear – Jesus Christ. Isaiah 41:10 tells us that we are not to be afraid because God is with us. Romans 8:38-39 says that nothing can separate us from the love of God – even random shootings cannot break God’s love for us.
The first ten minutes of most newscasts focus on the stories that elicit fear. I want to challenge you to actively combat this culture of fear. Here are three key points to keep in mind when engaging with current news media:
- Pray for protection from fear.
- Pray for those dealing with the tragedy or suffering.
- Trust and believe that God is sovereign and that will never leave us nor forsake us.