When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6:15–17, NIV 1984).
Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:3–4, NIV 1984).
My Musings – “Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself–nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1st inaugural address).
The “dark realities” of his presidency were not “nameless” – The Great Depression and World War II. One might argue that the terror of these were not unreasoning or unjustified, and could be easily paralyzing. But he was an optimist. Not a foolish one, for he did not deny the stark realities of the time. But he acknowledged that the real terror was not those “dark realities,” but the fear that causes the paralysis and inability to confront them.
Today, in our own moment, we face a new set of dark realities. Bad, but not yet as bad as the ones FDR and his generation faced. But they are here and we cannot deny that they are here. What’s more we cannot discount the possibility that they will escalate and become much worse than what the “Greatest Generation” confronted.
This may or may not be the time that Jesus spoke of, “there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive.” (Matthew 24:21–22, NIV 1984). But no matter what we are called to endure we have nothing to fear, not even fear itself. Why? Because whether from the inside (“one who is in [us]“) or out (“those who are with us“), we do not stand alone.
My Advice – “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” May our eyes be open so that we look beyond the “dark realities of the moment” and see that we “don’t [need to] be afraid.” Not a foolish optimism, because the days can get very dark, but a confidence in Him and His Word.