Like you, I was stunned to read of the skilled, well-timed, vicious and coordinated suicide bombings in Paris last week.
Or maybe I shouldn’t have been. ISIS shot down a Russian jet leaving Egypt just a few weeks ago. A double suicide bombing killed several, injuring dozens more, in Beirut, Lebanon right after the jet was shot down. It happened in a Muslim Shia neighborhood, another enemy of ISIS.
Then, suddenly, the Russian jet that was shot down and the Beirut bombings seemed lost in the ferocious fog of Paris where 129 were killed and hundreds more injured.
I’m still processing Paris. I know my Christian faith believes that God is all about life. He commands his children always to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19). Jesus came to give us life and to give it to us abundantly (John 10:10). I just can’t twist my mind around a religion that promotes death in the name of God. It’s impossible for me to understand how a person believes that taking another human life grants entrance into God’s heavenly presence. It’s unfathomable for me to comprehend.
So you will need to give me some more time to completely process Paris.
But of this I am certain. I can’t give into fear. Terrorists want to do just that: create terror in the hearts of their enemies. And I just can’t let that happen. I won’t let them succeed in this endeavor.
So I will fight fear and terror at every level in my life. Here are some steps I’m taking. I hope they help you as well:
- I will constantly remind my brain that my heavenly Father oversees this world. The jet in Egypt, or the Beirut and Paris bombings, and all terrorist activities, did not catch him by surprise. He oversees history. All is in his hands. Therefore, I refuse to be afraid.
- Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). His life is in me. My life is in him. My eternity is secure. Though I may die, still I live. I will live as more than a conqueror because of this powerful promise from my Lord and Savior (Romans 8:37).
- I will not give ISIS, or anything else in this world, the power to create terror in my heart. That’s their goal. They will not win. That’s my small way of fighting back. Jesus conquered death. He was never intimidated. I will follow my Master in his example.
- Finally, I believe suicide bombers will face a God of justice at the moment of their deaths and will be held accountable for their terrible theology and atrocious acts of violence. They won't get away with what they’ve done.
And I will choose, every day, to live by this petit maxim. Fear knocked on the door of my heart. I sent Jesus to answer. Fear was gone.
Terror, where is your sting? Thanks be to God for the victory we have in Christ Jesus, the Lord over all—including terrorism (2 Corinthians 2:14).