November 16, 2015
In the days following September 11, 2001, and the worst terrorist attack on United States soil in history, I remember a conversation with my daughter on the way to school. She was quoting her Bible memory verses for the week:
As she declared those words, my eyes filled with tears. Like all Americans and freedom-loving people everywhere, we were grieving the attacks in New York, Washington, DC, and in the skies above a Pennsylvania field. But the words from this passage of Scripture brought peace, comfort, focus, and resolve to us in that troubled time.
On the evening of November 13, the people in Paris were viciously attacked by Islamic terrorists, and I was reminded all over again of God’s promises in the Bible. Days earlier, the cities of Beirut and Baghdad had been rocked by bombs from members of the same murderous death cult. And a Russian civilian airliner had been blasted from the sky.
Just as on September 11, the world has once again changed forever. The hard reality of aggressive terror — designed to advance a global Caliphate and the annihilation or subjugation of all non-Islamist radicals — has come home to us once more. Their promise is more mayhem, everywhere. They seek to destroy peace.
Many good people are paralyzed with fear, or overcome with rage. However, our call is to look to the Lord. Yes, there are valid concerns, and yes, there is a time for anger. Prudent and strong actions must be taken by national leaders to deal with this very real threat. But those Who follow Jesus know that He is our ultimate hope and peace.
Old answers and actions will not suffice in the new paradigm. Truly, we have never been here before. But God knows; He is not caught off-guard, nor has He somehow toppled from His Throne. The Sovereign Lord is mighty and compassionate. And He is a Warrior. He will not forsake His people. Even now, He is raising up voices of righteousness and courage, to lead those He loves through this valley of the shadow of death.
The Lord promises:
“‘I will also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing’” (Jeremiah 23:4 NAS).
The passage speaks of Jesus and those who would follow Him. It’s a promise to us today, as we lift up our eyes to see Him and receive His peace, courage, and strength.
We see our Christian brothers and sisters in many parts of the world who face terrorism and persecution every day. But they have not embraced fear, they have embraced truth. Their love for Jesus and for the lost has compelled them to stand firm in faith, regardless of the cost.
We have adopted the mission, #EmbracingTheTruthWithOurLives as a way to support, pray for, and identify with these courageous believers. As part of this effort, we have produced orange t-shirts and wristbands to raise awareness of what is happening to and through Christians around the world, especially in nations dominated by Islam or Communism. If you would like more information on #ProjectOrange, how to receive these items, and to stand with these believers, please visit our homepage or store here at csmpublishing.org.
In days ahead, let us pray that world leaders would take this opportunity in times of trouble to seek God as they never have before, and find in Him the answers they need. Grace and peace to all who read these words.
STEPHEN SIMPSON is the Editor of One-to-One Magazine and the Director of CSM Publishing. In addition to publishing ministry, Stephen has served in leadership for churches and ministries in Costa Rica, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, and Michigan, as well as being the Senior Pastor of Covenant Church of Mobile (2004-2013). He continues to travel in ministry across North America and in other nations.