Fear Not Scary Headlines

The Lord handed King Jehoiakim of Judah over to Nebudchadnezzar, along with some of the vessels from the house of God.” -Daniel 1:2

Looking at it from a merely human perspective, current geopolitical events can cause fear and anxiety.  Rockets being fired, the earth shaking, planes going down—all of these seem like ominous signs of dark days.  Then again, Christians have access to inside information (no, not detailed prophecies of the future).  We have access to the remarkable truth of the sovereignty of God.

Whenever we read scary headlines—and some are very scary—we can find real solace in the sovereignty of God.  The sovereignty of God is a majestic theme of the Bible and it’s also a foundational assumption hiding in plain sight.  Consider the introduction to the book of Daniel.  Daniel was an Israelite exile taken to Babylon in 605 BC.  He and his compatriots lived through the collapse of their society, the eventual destruction of their temple, and the displacement of their people.  All of this was loaded with faith-shattering implications: God had promised to put them in their land–had God failed?  Given what they were going through, did God even exist?

In Daniel 1:2 we read this remarkably casual clause introducing the historical circumstances of Israel’s exile: “The Lord handed King Jehoiakim of Judah over to Nebudchadnezzar.”  The Lord handed him over.  This phrasing assumes so much theological truth: God is sovereign over geopolitical events, nations and governments belong to him, and even tragedies are under his guiding hand.  

The book of Daniel goes on to describe Daniel and his friends flourishing in faith while in exile.  He leads people to repentance for their sin, and models living in the world while not being of the world.  Faith in our sovereign God means regardless of the headlines, we can walk trusting him.

Jesus himself echoes this sentiment of finding solace in God’s sovereignty in Mark 13:7, “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, don’t be alarmed.”  Sometimes we think it would be easier to not fear if we knew all the details of God’s plan and exactly how it would work out, but that’s not accurate. The key to bulletproof faith in trying times isn’t knowledge of the future, it’s knowledge of God’s character as the sovereign Lord of the universe. 

The key to bulletproof faith in trying times isn’t knowledge of the future, it’s knowledge of God’s character as the sovereign Lord of the universe.  

In our broken world, we will face some very scary stuff.  Sometimes God chooses to hand one nation to another.  Sometimes he shakes the earth.  Sometimes we get a bleak diagnosis from the doctor.  Sometimes we have bills we can’t pay.  In all of these circumstances, we need not fear; we can walk by faith in our great God because he is sovereign.  

Published by Ryan Boys

Ryan serves as the Senior Pastor of Green Pond Bible Chapel in Rockaway, New Jersey. He is married with four children.

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