Don’t Panic!

Last week Pastor Benji kicked off the highly engaging series Anxious for Nothing. And I don’t know if you have been following the news like I have been, but this week we’ve seen tensions increase between nations in a significant way, to say the least. With the rise of social media, we now have breaking news and world events on our smartphones, in real time, accessible at our fingertips constantly. If there was ever a time and a cause for being anxious, it is now.

I believe the disciples had a certain sense of anxiousness when they asked Jesus about the end of the age in Matthew 24. To paraphrase, Jesus said, ‘there would be famines, earthquakes, wars and great distress…’ You might be reading this and thinking to yourself, wow, did Jesus have Facebook too? Because that sounds just like the posts that I’ve been reading lately. But in the midst of challenging circumstances, Jesus offers a word of encouragement. In fact, the Message translation of Matthew 24:6 reads, “When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history…”

Being that Katie and I have so many teenagers living in our house we are blessed with hearing about world events from their perspective. This past Monday, my kids came home and told me that all the kids in their school said we are in World War III and the military draft had been reinstated. At first I thought this might be a comedic moment. But after sensing a bit of anxiousness in their voice, I immediately recognized the Holy Spirit was giving me a teachable moment with my kids. So I communicated the same principle Jesus communicated to His disciples in Matthew 24:6, “…keep your head and don’t panic.” Then I added…and don’t believe everything you hear.

I want to encourage you and challenge you at the same time. If you are able-bodied, please join us every week for the month of January, at any of our newhope campuses, so that you will have the opportunity to hear a word of encouragement from our Pastor, to help keep anxiousness out of your heart. You don’t want to miss it! We will see you Sunday!

Keith Barreto
Wake Forest Campus Pastor

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