"Iraq could be planning a chemical or biological attack on American cities through the use of remote-controlled drone planes equipped with GPS tracking maps, according to U.S. intelligence."
That's what greeted me this morning as I sat down, opened up my paper and drank my coffee. Great, just what I needed to start the day! Spoiled a good cup of coffee! More importantly, it could spoil my mind, if I allow it to do so. Your newspaper is probably reading a lot like mine these days—seemingly, more bad news than ever. War is in the air! It's "on the mind."
It's one thing for a student of prophecy to read Matthew 24:6 Matthew 24:6And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
American King James Version×, which describes a time of "wars and rumors of wars." It's quite another matter when they actually start to happen one after another so that it can even paralyze the faith of the faithful. Add to that our own personal trials, and we potentially have a recipe for disaster. If we let it—and in that "if," there's a choice.
Peace I leave with you
Nearly 2,000 years ago, the Carpenter from Galilee gave us a framework to guide us through today's despair. It was not meant to be trite philosophy, but a personal anchor to securely moor us in times of great insecurity. The very night He spoke, multiple prophecies were coming to a collective bursting point. The Carpenter's world and that of His followers was about to be turned upside down and unalterably changed. In less than a day, He would be dead.
The Carpenter, who was also a Prophet and the very Son of God, squarely laid out a blueprint of hope to build upon in John 14:27-28 John 14:27-28  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
 You have heard how I said to you, I go away, and come again to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, I go to the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
American King James Version×, saying, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away, and coming back to you.'"
Embedded within this multifaceted gem-like statement, we discover He gave His followers three specific steps to understanding the future and one incredible responsibility to uphold for Him. Let's work our way through these steps, together. He said: 1) He was going to be taken away. 2) He would leave something called "My peace." 3) He is coming back! And in between all of these scriptural dynamics, with all this said, He offered the loving reassurance of "let not your heart be troubled."
God's promise versus our human premises
The peace that Christ mentions is something He owns by experience and shares with those who seek Him. It is a direct gift from God to those who truly believe and focus on His promises, and not simply our ever-present human premises that can so easily send us into faith paralysis.
It's been said, "Courage is simply fear that lasts a moment longer." As we take a moment longer, let's begin to focus on God's promises rather than our human premises. As we do, our knees may still be knocking together, but the shaky walls of our heart can begin to firm up.
In these anxious times that swirl about us, I often take comfort in the remarkable promise God offers in Amos 3:7 Amos 3:7Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets.
American King James Version×: "Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets." Now, we may not have many "live" prophets currently roaming through the land today, but we do have many people who have literally given themselves to be bondservants to Christ. And, because they have given their all in covenant with God, He in turn promises to give us His all!
It's always encouraging to read the end of the Bible, because when it is all said and done, our God wins! And if He wins, we win—His victory is ours! Why then is that heart of yours still "shakin' like Jell-o"? Because, as we all need to be reminded, "the devil is in the details." So as Satan chooses to play with our heads, we need to stay with God's promises to maintain our moorings.
The big headlines of heaven
First of all, we need to continuously remember that the really big headlines are being made above, not down here below. We don't have to pop on the Internet to find "the latest" to become even more depressed, but rather seek fortification from Isaiah 46:9-10 Isaiah 46:9-10  Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
American King James Version×that assures us: "For I am God, and there is no other. I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.'"
Yes, He is our source, not some unnamed advisor quoted under condition of anonymity. He gives context and purpose, not shaded by liberal or conservative bias—just godliness.
Imagine a front-page banner headline blaring—"Archangel Michael's Forces Poised for Action." No, it's not in your paper or mine. But God sounds forth an incredible promise to His faithful ones in these troubling times. Daniel 12:1 Daniel 12:1And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
American King James Version×proclaims, "At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book."
Speaking of heavenly armies securing God's promises in times of doubt, consider this scenario found in 2 Kings 6:15-17 2 Kings 6:15-17  And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray you, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
American King James Version×. Elisha's servant was being overwhelmed by current events. The enemy—the feared Syrian army—was surrounding them. The passage reads: "And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, 'Alas, my master! What shall we do?' So he answered, 'Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.' And Elisha prayed, and said, 'LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.' Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha."
Enemies are all around us, today
Just like the bug-eyed young man, we, too, can naturally stay focused on our modern-day "Syrians" rather than the reassuring promises of God. And sure, the modern-day enemies are numerous with names like North Korea, international terrorism a la al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein and beyond that an emerging geopolitical threat that Scripture defines as the Beast and the False Prophet (Revelation 13 and 16).
But remember, Christ gave a gift called "My peace." This peace can only abide in us when our eyes stay opened to the promises of God. As writers for a prophetic publication like World News and Prophecy, we have an obligation to our readers, not to simply point out the dangers, but, more importantly, to expand and enhance your spiritual vision to see the incredible forces engaged in God's great abiding plan of rescue.
Such a promise is found in Matthew 24:21-22 Matthew 24:21-22  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
American King James Version×. None other than Jesus Christ—the Carpenter, the Prophet and the returning world-ruling King—offers it! "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened."
Christ clearly states some specific promises here. Humanity will not annihilate itself. And, what is implied is that the force that shortens those days will not simply attempt to do limited "nation building," but will start the entire world over again in harmony under Christ.
"He Cannot Deny Himself"
But what happens when the shoe does drop—and drops on you? Will Christians suffer along with others? Are we promised a trouble-free life? No! Christ didn't say we would be trouble-free, but "Let not your heart be troubled." The apostle Paul in one of His last writings before his execution rehearses promises from a hymn of the early Church. It's known as "the Song of the Martyrs," and its promises must have been very reassuring to Paul. The promises in 2 Timothy 2:11-13 2 Timothy 2:11-13  It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
 If we believe not, yet he stays faithful: he cannot deny himself.
American King James Version×flow as follows:
"For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.
"If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.
"If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
"If we are faithless, He remains faithful;
"He cannot deny Himself."
The English word martyr is derived from the Greek word martus. It is defined as "a witness." So often we think of martyrs in terms of being dead, rather than being a living witness of faith. Yes, a day-by-day, event-by-event witness of "let not your heart be troubled," because we believe and embrace the reality of "He cannot deny Himself," meaning His promises are true. Such a living witness allows us to bring much more to life than what life brings to us.
Morning stars and thunder
No, God cannot deny His Christ, and Christ cannot deny His promises which are embedded in one of His self-described names found in Revelation 22:16 Revelation 22:16I Jesus have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
American King James Version×—"the Bright and Morning Star." Christ concludes the entire book—and in that sense the entire Bible—with His name of promise. We come to fully appreciate it when we consider how and when the morning star appears. It shines when it is coldest and darkest, just before the dawning of a new day.
The human premise is that it is cold and dark. The godly promise realigns our heart to consider that the One who created the morning star for such a dark and chilling time as this shall appear.
A week ago, a dark and chilling storm rumbled through Los Angeles. I went to the back door to watch the lightning display. I called out to our granddaughters, Meghan and Kailyn, to come and see. I could hear their little feet scurrying my way. All of a sudden thunder shook the air. Kailyn, all of 3, screamed, "I'm s-c-a-r-e-d," and turned around in her tracks only to run into Grandma's arms.
Susan, my wife, gently told her that God's voice could sound like thunder to remind us of His loving power. I watched Kailyn's body language immediately return to normal. She had become relaxed with knowing that there wasn't just a lot of light and scary noise outside, that God was not apart from the storm, but that He was in the storm with her. We all then stood there as a family framed in a doorway watching and hearing God at work—not only in the wonders of nature, but also in the heart of a child.
Yes, the prophetic and personal storms of life will intensify. So, hold onto those promises!
Perhaps the millennial refrain found in Isaiah 30:21 Isaiah 30:21And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk you in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left.
American King James Version×, "this is the way, walk in it," is best found in the actions of a little 3-year-old girl who upon hearing the name of God, allowed the fury of the storm to settle into proper perspective. Her precious little heart got untroubled in a hurry. From the mouth and walk of babes may we learn Christ's ageless encouragement—"Let not your heart be troubled."
I think I'm ready for another cup of coffee now.