We live in a dangerous, threatening world. But there are biblical principles that will help us to stand firm in our faith and live without fear. 

Chaplain Barry C. Black offers biblical insight on common threats we face as Christians, and points us towards the principles that Jesus gave His disciples before sending them out in a dangerous world.

“We, as people of faith, believe in the demonic. Ephesians 6:12 says, ‘we wrestle not against flesh and blood…’ That’s the mistake we make sometimes, we think we’re just wrestling against flesh and blood, but it says, ‘we’re wrestling against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world; we’re wrestling against spiritual wickedness in high places.’”

“Christ was so aware of the demonic that He said to Peter in Matthew 16:23, ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ Satan simply means adversary.”

Throughout Scripture, we are warned of the predatory, demonic threats that may come our way.

“Be sober, be vigilant; for your adversary the devil walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Jesus’ teaching in the book of Matthew helps us understand how we should respond to these threats.

“Jesus said in Matthew 10:16, ‘I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves.’ Now that seems crazy. Why would a good shepherd send a lamb, let alone a mature sheep to encounter a wolf, which would destroy it with no problem, but into the midst of wolves? He said, ‘Be, therefore, wise as a snake and harmless as a dove.’”

How can we be both wise as a snake and harmless as a dove? Chaplain Black helps us reconcile this paradox.

“He’s basically saying, you need to have a tough mind, and you need to have a tender heart. You’ve got the foundational threat of the predatory and all of the branches that will come from that, that’s the root.”

2 Timothy 3:12 says, ‘All those who live godly will suffer persecution.’ So there’s going to be pushback whenever you try to live right. A lot of the contention and division we see in the world today, that’s pushback from the powers of darkness.”

John 16:33 teaches us that we will face trouble and opposition in life, but as followers of Christ, we don’t have to live in fear. Chaplain Black reminds us that biblical principles will not only prepare us for opposition, but will help us to walk fearlessly in a threatening world.

On June 27, 2003, Rear Admiral Barry C. Black (Ret.) was elected the 62nd chaplain of the United States Senate, an office first established in 1789. Prior to coming to Capitol Hill, Chaplain Black served in the U.S. Navy for more than twenty-seven years, ending his distinguished career as the chief of Navy chaplains. He is the author of the book  .

Principles for a threatening world
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Thabiti Anyabwile on Reviving the Black Church