A Generation of Fear

What are the defining events of each generation? That is a question that I have thought about since the Tech Tragedy. For me, two things stand out. One is the assassination attempt on President Reagan(1981). The second event that stands out in my childhood is the Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion(1986). I was home because of a snow day and watched the shuttle take off on live tv. I still remember the sense of helplessness I had when I realized something had gone terribly wrong. But for our current students, the defining events of their generation are much different. Columbine, 9/11, and now Virginia Tech.

There is a striking difference to me. I remember national tragedies that touched us all but they were distant. They didn’t apply to my everyday life. Students today remember events that could happen anywhere at anytime. Are we surprised that we have an entire generation that is living in fear.

The Bible has a lot to say about fear. Over and over again we are told to not be afraid, to not be terrified, to not be disturbed, but to trust God because He is with us. I wish I had all the answers to make everyone feel safe. But part of becoming an adult is realizing that you’re not always safe. We must trust God even when we don’t understand. Matthew had a good comment during our youth meeting tonight. He said as a child you think that bad only happens as a consequence of doing something wrong, but as teenagers you start to realize that sometimes there is no explanation for why evil things happen.

The realization is that evil happens because of Satan. We must realize that and not be fearful. 1 John 4:4 tells us that God inside us is all we need. We must be strong and courageous. There is no need to live in fear when God is with us.


I am a former design engineer who now pastors Cornerstone Community Church in Galax, Virginia. I'm passionate about following Jesus and I love technology. I've been married to Jennifer for 28 years, and we have three adult children.

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