“See to it . . . ” Bosses and teachers are known to use that phrase. “See to it that you fill out the reports.” Or “Your essay is due tomorrow. See to it that you finish your work.” The words call for additional attention, special focus, extra resolve. Isn’t this what Christ is asking of us? In this dangerous day, on this Fabergé-fragile globe, with financial collapse on the news and terrorists on the loose, we have every reason to retreat into bunkers of dread and woe.
But Christ says to us, “See to it that you are not alarmed” (NIV).
“Keep your head and don’t panic” (MSG).
“See that you are not troubled” (nkjv).
“Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10 RSV).
Make sure the hull of your convictions can withstand the stress of collisions.
Builders of the Titanic should have been so wise. The luxury liner sank because contractors settled for cheap rivets and suffered from poor planning. Rivets are the glue that hold the steel plates together. Facing a shortage of quality bolts, the builders used substandard ones that popped their heads upon impact with the iceberg.
How sturdy are the bolts of your belief? Reinforce them with daily Bible readings, regular worship, and earnest communion with God. “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.”
And remember: “All these [challenging times] are the beginning of birth pains” (Matt. 24:8 NIV), and birth pangs aren’t all bad. (Easy for me to say.) Birth pains signal the onset of the final push. The pediatrician assures the mom-to-be, “It’s going to hurt for a time, but it’s going to get better.” Jesus assures us of the same. Global conflicts indicate our date on the maternity calendar. We are in the final hours, just a few pushes from delivery, a few brief ticks of eternity’s clock from the great crowning of creation. A whole new world is coming!
“These things must come to pass” (Matt. 24:6). Must is a welcome word that affirms that all events, even the most violent, are under a divine plan. Every trial and trouble has a place in God’s scheme. “The reason why we ought not be terrified is not because wars are not terrifying. Quite the contrary. It is because above all chaos reigns a divine plan.”
All things, big and small, flow out of the purpose of God and serve his good will. When the world appears out of control, it isn’t. When warmongers appear to be in charge, they aren’t. When ecological catastrophes dominate the day, don’t let them dominate you.
Let’s trust our heavenly Father in the manner Peter Wirth trusted his earthly one.
Max Lucado, Fearless: Imagine Your Life without Fear (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012).
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