I know you have seen the news. I know you have read the paper, and read the internet articles. ISIS is scary. If you are like me, it breaks your heart a little more when you hear of another act of violence. It breaks your heart even more when you realize that you are becoming (a little bit) numb to the news. What a sad situation it is that it is now normal to read of these acts of violence.
Can I please share some good news with you about ISIS?
- ISIS will fail.
Acts 5:34-39- But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time. 35 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. 38 So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”
In this text we see that some disciples were in some hot water because of their faithful preaching. Many wanted to kill them. Then a wise council member reminded all who would hear him that any movement that is brought about by men will fail.
This does not mean that they won’t cause damage, and that they won’t strike fear in our hearts. What is does mean is that they will, eventually, be defeated.
- ISIS cannot take away our hope.
Just this morning, news broke about another murder. This time it wasn’t on foreign soil. It was in Oklahoma. A woman was beheaded, and the story is that the offender was a recent convert to Islam. Whether this proves to be true or not is not the point. The point is this: I watched as instantly many members of the church were commenting on news stories with comments of despair.
Please do not misunderstand me. I am not in any way trying to belittle this tragic situation. What I am trying to gently remind us (and myself) is that the evil actions of this group or any individual cannot rob me of my hope. Phil 4:7 talks about the peace which surpasses all understanding. In the face of such evil, let us not forget the God that we serve.
- ISIS cannot keep me from talking to God.
No matter how great the evil, our God is greater. I have the ability (as do you) to talk to my heavenly Father. Too often I am guilty of worrying, complaining, and talking with others who are worrying and complaining. when what I need to be doing is getting on my knees and talking to the only One who can make a difference.
- Let us pray for peace
- Let us pray for God to soften their hearts
- Let us pray that God strengthen us, so that the love of Christ shines
- Let us pray for our leaders, that God will guide them
- Let us pray for our children. Praying that they will place their faith in God, and that when they look at our faith, they will see an example.