“Since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives you should be living” (2 Peter 3:11, NLT). While contemplating the increased turmoil in our country and in the world, the incredible bent for committing indescribable acts of violence, and the headlong rush to embrace hatred and evil, I found the Holy Spirit breathing these words into my heart, along with some specific ways for us to do this.
The first choice we can make is to live in and by faith, not fear! Fear is paralyzing and crippling and renders us incapable of thinking rationally or acting wisely. No matter how much evil seems to prevail at present, ultimately it will be overcome. So since we know this, we don’t have to be afraid, but can instead proclaim the truth that evil will one day be overcome, and that Jesus always wins!
After making the choice to embrace faith and reject fear, it’s helpful to busy oneself with ways to help others do the same. Proverbs 3:6 encourages us, “In all thy ways make Christ known” or, “acknowledge Him,” so reaching out to friends and neighbors spreads the love of Jesus and promotes confidence in them that there is still goodness and kindness in the world.
There are many ways to reach out to others, and there is no right or wrong way. It’s different for every individual, because of the unique circumstances we each face and the stage of life we are in. But I’ve been challenged recently in my own set of circumstances to “continue to do good, yet more” (Revelation 22:11, NLT). After volunteering for 26 years at our local crisis pregnancy center, I have been tempted to think it’s been long enough, but if I’m to continue to do good, “yet more,” that doesn’t fit!
Right along with the “yet more,” came the words from Ephesians 5:16 (NLT), which tell us to “Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.” Because there is no question that these are “evil days,” these words jumped out at me most forcefully! “Make the most of every opportunity for doing good.” Father, please help me to do that!
The final passage I noticed was Philippians 2:4, “Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.” What an awesome antidote for fear—to focus on caring for others and lifting their burdens rather than being overwhelmed by our own. While doing so, faith grows and fear dissipates.
- Live lives of faith, not fear
- Live godly lives
- Make Christ known in all you do
- Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days
- Continue doing good “yet more”
- Don’t think just about your own affairs, but be interested in others and what they are doing
May joy fill our hearts as we lift up our heads, practice faith rather than fear, and occupy ourselves (as someone put it) with doing “all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the people you can, just as long as you can!”