From Russian Nukes to Monkeypox, Fear is in the Air

By Michael Brown Published on May 23, 2022

The headlines can be jarring and unsettling, creating an atmosphere of fear and dread. What on earth is coming next?

Front and center on Sunday’s Drudge Report are these disturbing headlines.

  • Monkeypox Spreading Through Sex?
  • Belgium Forces Quarantines
  • Outbreak Explodes
  • Biden: Be Concerned

The Breitbart Sunday headlines are just as alarming:

  • Fears Forever! Biden Monkeypox Warning
  • H.O. Hypes: More Cases Coming
  • Mullen: USA Should Prepare for Russian Nukes

It seems that nothing is safe these days, as one more headline warns, “Dozens of Jif Peanut Butter Products Recalled for Possible Salmonella Contamination.” Even your peanut butter could be deadly!

And there are the ever-present warnings about the impending end of the world because of global warming. And the daily reports about the precipitous decline of the stock market, with a soon-coming recession. And on and on it goes.

It seems like everything around us is crumbling and there is no solid, certain ground.

In the Midst of Chaos God is There

But appearances can be deceiving.

That’s because, in the midst of the chaos, God remains our refuge and our strength. He is both a defender and a friend, a place of safety and a rock of support. In Him, we need have no fear, even during times of pandemic. Or economic collapse. Or war.

If He is with us, even in the midst of fierce, deadly storms, then all will be well, whether we live or we die.

More than two years ago, in the early weeks of the pandemic, I addressed similar concerns, also pointing to a series of headlines on Drudge Report on March 23, 2020:

  • USA HAS 100+ DEATHS IN DAY…
  • Testing blunders crippled response…
  • Biden Slams Trump ‘Failure’…
  • Fear and foreboding in New York…
  • California needs 50,000 more hospital beds…
  • City dwellers fleeing to deserts and mountains…
  • Florida Spring Breakers Begin Testing Positive…
  • Louisiana has fastest growing cases in world…
  • Governors Clamp Down Even as President Considers Easing Rules…
  • Tensions grow in White House…
  • Jobless Rate May Soar to 30%…
  • BARRACK: Commercial Mortgages on Brink of Collapse…
  • Virus reveals financial irresponsibility of Americans…
  • Police Tread Lightly as Pandemic Spreads…
  • ‘I am constitutional lawyer. I see govt using Covid-19 to take away rights’…
  • Loss of smell, taste, might signal infection…
  • I’m 26. It Sent Me to Hospital…
  • Surgeon General: This week it’s going to get bad…
  • WHO warns: ‘Accelerating’…
  • SICK MAP…

And I noted back then that, “Headlines like this produce fear and anxiety. They unsettle us and make us feel vulnerable and insecure. They do not build faith or instill hope. Quite the contrary. They produce a feeling of dread.”

Focus on God’s Promises and Nature

Looking back now, more than 24 months later, the world did not come to an end, the sky did not fall and the human race is still here, despite the many tragic losses that we endured.

That’s why it is so important for us to take our focus off the news and put it instead on God’s promises and God’s nature.

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As I wrote in March 2020, “contrast the feeling you get after focusing on the bad news with the feeling you get when focusing on the good news. Take a deep breath, and then read these words slowly and out loud as rendered in the NLT:

The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

What wonderful, life-giving words — and every one of them is true. Praise God! If you will feast on words like these, which are found throughout the Scriptures, your state of mind will change greatly.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you ignore the news or stick your head in the sand. But it does mean that you put your focus on what our Father has to say, not what people have to say.

Your Heart Will Find Rest

Let’s also remember that there was a time when we did not have 24/7 newscasts, when you would get a newspaper once a day and perhaps see a news show once at night. That was it. The constant, incessant bombardment of bad news, often sensationalized for ratings, is something new, and it is very unhealthy.

So, rather than be inundated by the bad news, much of it exaggerated, put on some worship music and turn your gaze upward. Listen to a reading of Scripture rather than surf the net. You’ll be amazed to see how your attitude changes.

And spend some time sharing all your concerns with the Lord, naming then one by one and committing them to His care, with thanksgiving and praise. As Peter urged, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) Or in the words of Paul,

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. (Philippians 4:6–8)

Cast your burdens on the Lord, worship Him with thanksgiving, and think on the good. Your heart will find rest as you do.

 

Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Revival Or We Die: A Great Awakening Is Our Only Hope. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter or YouTube.

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