Fearlessness is not the absence of conflict; actually that is the definition of peace. But you can be peaceful on the inside while all kinds of turmoil are happening on the outside.
The Boston Marathon Response was an inspiring example of what it means to act fearlessly and have inner peace in face in a literally explosive situation. People acted calmly and lovingly in spite of devastation and the threat of more explosions. People were in the aftermath of bombings, yet inwardly were able to focus on the loving response.
There are many streams of thought that we can have in those terrifying situations. We can focus on the destruction and the threat of more destruction. That is giving in to terror. Or we can focus on the good, the right, the loving. That is cultivating peace in the midst of turmoil.
The Bible mentions both fear and peace hundreds of times each. Jesus, angels, and others all exhorted to “Fear Not”!
When Jesus was born, the angel opened with “Fear Not”!
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. (Luke 2:10 ESV)
In Luke 12, where Jesus was teaching thousands, he said this:
And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:29-32 ESV)
Paul wrote to Timothy:
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)
This last verse actually sets up quite a contrast. On the one hand you have fear, and on the other, power, love, and self-control. That is what I saw in watching the Boston Marathon Response; in the face of fear – people acting with power, love, and self-control.
Fearing not, acting calmly in the face of battle is a theme throughout the Bible. Look at this prophecy of exactly that to Israel in the Book of Deuteronomy:
“Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them,” (Deuteronomy 20:3 ESV)
The eternal mission of Christ is the sending of the spirit to all that will receive to enable people to have peace and help us overcome fear. Jesus said:
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:26-27 ESV)
©copyright 2013 Mark W. Smith, all rights reserved.