It’s not often that we talk in Citizen about what’s going on outside the United States. After all, we were founded on the premise of encouraging conservative grassroots activism concerning domestic social policy—and while we do that in a nonpartisan way, that’s still the mandate at the heart of our publication. Our mission is to bring hope and help to our readers, and show them how to make a difference within their individual spheres of influence.
But if you’ve been paying attention to the headlines lately, you’ve probably noticed that the world is shrinking. There are horrendous things happening outside our borders to our Christian brothers and sisters around the globe that would strike fear into the heart of anyone—and as believers, we simply can’t afford to ignore them.
For instance, Christians have been systematically targeted by former al Qaeda members who have declared an Islamic caliphate, seeking to claim as much territory as possible throughout the Middle East, parts of Asia and Europe — event the U.S. Since the declaration was made this summer, the extremists have eliminated Iraqi Christians from their historic towns of Mosul and Qaraqosh by forcing them to convert to Islam, flee — or be killed. Moreover, the group has reportedly kidnapped more than 500 Christian women and is selling them as sex slaves, while murdering men and children in gruesome ways, including beheading and crucifixion.
Meanwhile, the conflict between Palestinians and Jews in the Gaza Strip has escalated into full-blown war. Hamas, the terrorist organization which holds power in the Palestinian government, is believed to have dug more than 2,000 tunnels under the border, which it uses to smuggle guns and bombs into Israel, and also to abduct Israeli soldiers and citizens. Hamas headquarters are located in the basement of Gaza’s largest hospital, because its leaders know Israel is reluctant to fire on civilians. In fact, the Israeli army actually broadcasts its plans to shell certain areas in Gaza beforehand in the hopes that civilians will leave. Hamas, on the other hand, uses them as human shields.
We may never go to Gaza, Israel or Iraq, and we may never meet the brave people who are currently suffering such devastation. But as believers, we each have an individual sphere of influence through prayer — and I sincerely hope we each will use it. Because of our relationship with the Father, we have the authority to pray powerful prayers that release His will to be done on the earth.
These are serious and sober times, to be sure. Fear is rising over the whole planet. If we were to look only at the headlines — either concerning global events or just those in our own country — it would be an easy thing to become paralyzed by dread. And yet, in the midst of it all, there is tremendous opportunity to partner with the Lord to bring about wholesale, lasting change from one end of the globe to the other.
The Bible has a lot to say about fear: In 80 verses, it specifically says we are to fear not, or to be “strong and courageous.” Because He is with us, we can be fearless! Of all the peoples on the earth, only Christians truly have that option.
The nineteenth-century British evangelist George Muller once said, “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.” The Apostle Paul put it a little differently in Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving in your heart, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
That’s a pretty powerful promise. Whatever our besetting concerns may be, whether foreign, domestic or intensely personal, let’s cast them on the One Who cares for us and ask the Father for His most perfect will to be done—on the earth, as it is in Heaven.
Do you like this article? Please share!