Commentary by Rev. Michael VandenBerg
Another week, another set of shootings, violence in our cities, protests in the streets and a rising level of hopelessness. What can be done to stem the cycle of violence and retaliation? More police, more oversight, more money for cities, more laws, more WHAT?
President Ronald Reagan said, “Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.” That’s a pretty tall order in a world that seems to be spinning out of control. How do the good stand unafraid in the face of evil?
Repeatedly, the Bible tells believers to “be unafraid.” In some of the most terrifying moments in Biblical history, God breaks in and tells us that we need not be afraid for he is in control. God reminds us that we can be unafraid, act unafraid and exercise power over the evil that surrounds us. We must look again into the face of God and realize that the enemy of this world is powerless against the power of God and that those who follow God into battle have nothing to fear.
The evil around us may take our power, our voice and even our lives, but he cannot destroy us. The voice of God will never be silent, the followers of God cannot be defeated because the final enemy, death, has already been defeated.
The battle is not against those who differ from us, or even those with evil agendas, but rather against the spiritual realm that seeks to pull us away from God, cause us to give up our faith and to turn away from the eternal only to gain the temporary. The enemy is not the people or things around us that cause us pain, division or distraction, but the prince of darkness, who can kill the spirit, rob us of our eternal inheritance and turn us away from the Prince of Peace, the God of hope and the spirit of truth.
In a recent email from Dr. Jeff Meyer of Summit Ministries, he said of the youth, “God is not finished with this country. He is not finished with this generation. It is not time to quit. Rather, it is a time for laying aside every weight and sin so we can run with endurance the race set before us, for the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:1).”
Edmund Burke once said before the British Parliament, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good me to do nothing.” Will we be the voice of peace, unafraid in the face of evil or will we sit on the sidelines and watch as our nation descends into chaos and destruction? Jesus once said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”
We stand unafraid when we know the outcome and are sure of our convictions.