Seven insights from Scripture to inspire us as the world seems to grow more dangerous

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Everywhere we turn there is bad news, even apocalyptic warnings that Western civilisation is coming to an end. Many people are expressing fear and anger about world events and politics. Yet the Bible promises us peace - in our hearts, if not in the world around us. Here are seven Bible verses that can help us to think more Biblically about our troubles:

Perspective: "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9, NIV).

We perceive today's troubles from the perspective of a relatively peaceful era in the Western world. The 1980s and 1990s saw the fall of communism and fewer military conflicts. While September 11 raised fears of Islamic terrorism, times were still relatively easy for most people in the West.

With a more historical perspective our current woes can be seen as less alarming. Imagine what it was like for a peasant in the 1340s to see most of your fellows wiped out by plague; or for the Christians of the first three centuries as they were murdered by the Roman regime; or to see your church leader executed in the brutal Reformation battles in Europe. Human beings have been battered in every way possible; we can learn from the wisdom of the church fathers how to handle such trials.

Suffering: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me" Luke 9:23, NIV.

The earliest Christians, and most of our brothers and sisters throughout history, accepted suffering as part of life, but especially as part of the Christian life, as Jesus clearly predicts in his teaching. Without effective anaesthetics, antibiotics, and all the modern advances in agriculture and home management, life was tough for everyone. Those of us who live without suffering are the minority in the world and throughout history. Jesus can show us a way through these trials, and how to cope with the fear of worse trials to come.

Truth and grace: "We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth" John 1:17, NIV.

The necessity of balancing both truth and love is often discussed, but in a fracturing society it is especially important. There are problems and sins all around us, and the church needs to hold on to truth and be willing to call this out. The Church's lack of action on childhood gender transitioning suggests that many of us are afraid of speaking the truth - as the Cass report showed, this particular trend is a concerning social fashion rather than 'progress', and may have harmed many people. Yet too often when we do criticise social trends, it is perceived as unloving. In a world full of lies and rebellion with a desert of genuine love, if we can manage to hold on to both truth and mercy, our light will shine. As this Bible passage shows, it is through Christ that this becomes possible.

Getting our own house in order: "How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:4-5, NIV).

It's easy to point out people's flaws, or those of society. There are always plenty of them! But this kind of criticism tends to come from a judgemental and harsh place inside. Such hardness is a sign that we have a plank in our eye that needs to be removed before we concern ourselves with the wrongs of others. If there is bitterness, unkindness, resentment or jealousy within us, then we are in no place to help others with their own issues. Jesus's clear teaching is that we must work on ourselves in order to be useful to others. This is not a call to ignore the problems of the outside world, but to work hard at sanctification and cultivating the interior life to ensure that the love of Christ is firmly in the driving seat.

Trust and surrender: "I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness... Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand" (Psalm 73:3, 21-23, NLT).

It may seem that life is unfair and that those in power are prospering while good people fail. But the whole of Psalm 73 is a realisation that focusing on these perceived injustices does us no good at all. We can trust in God's justice and his plan for this world, however out of kilter it all seems. Raging at the perceived wrongs of the government or globalist organisations does nothing but make us bitter and torn up inside ... much better to focus on God and build our trust in His plans.

Love for the sinner: "While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' Then he fell on his knees and cried out, 'Lord, do not hold this sin against them.' When he had said this, he fell asleep. And Saul approved of their killing him" Acts 7:59-60 - Acts 8:1, NIV.

The New Testament is a witness to the most incredible conversion of St Paul. He was once in favour of persecuting Christ's church. Then he came to love it and died for it himself. He once approved of violent execution of Christians. Then he came to believe in peaceful means and persuasion for the gospel through preaching. If we observe wrongdoers in the world, we can choose to think of them as future St Paul's, rather than our enemies. God has brought many people into the way of Christ in the past, and he will do so again in the future.

Kingdoms rise and fall: "From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands" Acts 17:26, NIV.

In multiple places in the Bible, we are assured that Kingdoms of the world will rise and fall, and that God's hand is on this. Imagine living in the early church – it would have seemed impossible that the mighty Roman empire could ever fall, yet it is now ancient history. Likewise, the current world order will not stay the same. This can feel unsettling and worrying, and indeed some of the alternatives to Western domination appear frightening if human rights are not respected or freedoms allowed, especially the freedom to practise our faith. Yet looked at from God's perspective, history has its ups and downs. Rather than feeling afraid, we can work on increasing trust in God's plans, as well as working towards a fairer and more God-honouring world whenever and wherever we can.

Heather Tomlinson is a freelance journalist. Find her at or on twitter @heathertomli