United Kingdom (MNN) — A fifth victim of the attack in London died from injuries last week. The attacker, a 52-year-old British man, plowed a car into pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge, then stabbed a police officer on Parliament grounds before he was shot and killed. Around 40 others were injured.
ISIS wants credit for the attack as they struggle to stay relevant amidst the terror group’s major territorial losses in Syria and Iraq. But so far, the connection can’t be confirmed. Investigators say it’s possible the attacker was inspired by ISIS, but there is no evidence that ISIS helped coordinate the attack or that the perpetrator was in communication with ISIS leaders.
Whether or not ISIS had a direct hand in the attack, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by fear whenever acts of terror and violence strike. Biblica’s Carl Moeller says in dark moments like this, believers need to open God’s Word.
“One of the things that I think is most important for us to consider at this point is, what does the Bible really say about fear? And how do we look at fear in general, and how do we look at a specific situation like this — say, fear of terrorism or fear of harm for my family or something like that — through the lens of what the Bible calls us to?
“Fear is antithetical to faith. It doesn’t mean we don’t get afraid. Getting afraid is sort of a natural human reaction…. The most courageous soldiers we have will tell you right up front, ‘Yes, of course I was afraid, but…’ and it’s that critical ‘but’, ‘…I ran to danger rather than ran away from these situations.’”
Moeller says a good place to start in your Bible when searching for hope is 1 Peter 5:6-10 which reads:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
He explains, “I think in that passage, we see some of the things Christians should think about when they are struck with fear. And I think it’s really important that we start with, first of all, humbly recognizing that God is in control. Then secondly, casting our anxiety, our fear, our worry, our trepidation about the future on Him. Why? Because He cares for us.”
However, some believers consider casting our anxiety on God as permission to then stick our heads in the sand and ignore concerning issues or pain. Moeller says that’s why reading the whole set of verses in context is so important.
“We don’t just go into this with some sort of pasted on smile on our face saying, ‘I’m not going to worry. I’m just going to give this to God.’ That certainly wouldn’t help our communities, it wouldn’t help our families, it wouldn’t help anyone. But the next [verse] is, ‘Be alert and of sober mind.’ I think we really need to soak ourselves in Scripture. When we see a command like that, ‘Be alert and of sober mind,’ [we ask] why? There’s a thread out there. The devil prowls around like a roaring lion. But the fact is we’ve already said God is in control and we’ve put our anxiety on Him, but we still use a sober and alert mind. We’re not ignorant of the things around us. We use good, common sense.”
So as you go into hard conversations and address fearful topics with neighbors, friends, and family, there’s a few things you can do first to embrace a godly mindset. Pray for His peace as you release your anxiety, and for His wisdom as you seek to encourage others. And probe deeply into God’s Word for His truths, promises, and commands.
After all, Moeller says, “The Bible is not a dead book. It lives, and every day I read the newspaper and I read my Bible right next to it, and I see the way in which God’s Word is applicable to every situation we encounter. I just pray that every Christian listening to this would open God’s Word right now and open their heart and pray for the situations they see around the world that other people are afraid of, other people are fearful of, and that we might be a lamp of light and hope for people around the world who are feeling discouraged and distressed by these things going on. Let’s be the light of Christ in these dark places.”