Since the beginning of time, the psychology of war has had twin goals of instilling courage in the guys on your side and fear in the fellows on the other side. Men have painted themselves to look fierce, donned intimidating armor, and made loud frightening noises to accomplish these goals.
We don’t often think of Jesus as a war chieftain but he had the same goals. He nearly always greeted His followers with “Fear Not” and instructed them to encourage each other. Our enemy is a bit different and is not intimidated by fierce looks and frightening noises. But he is put off by the power of God displayed in miraculous healing and loving as only God can love. He quivers at faith and gets faint at strong trust.
It seems sometimes that in church we get this all wrong. We gather and instill fear in each other portraying our God as angry and holding us to impossible standards rather than focusing on His grace and love. We speak of the “end times” as something to fear rather than the joyous return of our conquering King. We speak of the end of the church era rather than the genesis of the new heaven and earth.
As far as being encouragers, we fall pretty short there. We are usually glass-half-empty people. We wring our hands at the state of the world. We speak fondly of the good-ole days and darkly of the future. I have heard Christians speak of not wanting to raise children in this awful world.
Come on guys. We live in the generation that will likely see the return of Christ and the rapture of the church. Every storm or quake or deterioration of morals should motivate us to action not send us scurrying into our shelters.
It’s a war and it’s always loudest and scariest just before the victory.
Get fierce and get in the game.
Be blessed and bless.