I know a lot of people who no longer watch the news. Not just because they are overwhelmed, but they question the sources. 44% of the worldwide news is reportedly inaccurate. The other 56% leaves enough to cause a lot of concern.
Our fears have a lot to do with perspective.
In Nigeria, a Christian is martyred every two minutes. This year the YWAM Prayer Diary devoted a lot of space asking for prayer in countries that do not have clean water. People walk miles to fill jugs at polluted sources. Children are especially vulnerable, and the death toll is terrible.
As missionaries, the news finds us.
There is a red-hot situation in Haiti happening right now. The YWAM campus is out of fuel for their generator, which means no electricity. They are low on water. There is rioting and gunfire in the streets as gangs seem to prevail. A YWAM staff couple with a newborn baby has to travel to the American Embassy to obtain citizenship papers in the middle of all this chaos. It's hard to imagine.
How do we deal with burdens that can make us so fearful?
From experience here are two things I've learned I shouldn't do. I hope they help you too.
1. Don't keep it to yourself. Share it first with the Lord. How many times has the Lord answered me by placing a scripture on my heart that gives me peace? Secondly, share it with someone you trust. When we carry one another's burdens, we fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2. Countless times God has also used those around me to give insight, confirmation, or speak an encouraging word when I needed it.
2. Don't make it overly emotional. I had an intense burden for some troubled individuals. I was fearful for them. Having concern wasn't bad, but how I was dealing with it was. The remedy was to simply "cast all my cares" onto the Lord, and leave it with Him. It was a new measure of faith for me to commit things to Him, and rest in the fact that He was moving even if I didn't see it.
As missionaries, we have seen God turn countless situations around as we pray. Jesus said that we would have tribulation, but to fear not. He has overcome the world. Interestingly, there are 365 places in the Bible where those words appear. One for every day. We should feel as secure as that newborn baby in Haiti. God is wonderfully able to surround us with peace no matter what we are going through.
The Good News of Jesus can change any circumstance.
Learning how to deal with fear is part of everyone's discipleship process. Join a discipleship school to discover even more in your relationship with God and activate your faith.