By Hal Lindsey
The internet ad says, “Find strength in knowing your options.” The theme is typical of advertisements across all media. Empowerment, strength, authority, and control provide the main selling points in commercial after commercial. Madison Avenue has been selling us things for a long time. They know what they’re doing. They keep their fingers on the pulse of what people long for and what they fear.
And it’s obvious that right now the people of planet earth long for control and power. They fear being weak and vulnerable.
These themes echo throughout society. New government programs, new businesses, new products, new computer apps, and even non-profit organizations almost always promise to “empower” people in some way.
We are also entertained by power. For decades, superheroes were marketed to children. Psychologists say that children like to identify with superheroes because children feel small, vulnerable, and powerless. But these characters have now gone mainstream. Their popularity crosses demographic lines, cultures, countries, socio-economic groups, and language. What does that say about how people are feeling? It says that many adults feel as vulnerable as children. They sense impending doom and feel powerless to stop it.
The phenomenon is worldwide. In recent years, almost all the world’s highest grossing movies featured characters with a superpower. In Star Wars films, Jedi knights use “the force” to access the supernatural. As far as I know, Marvel films are always about superheroes and their powers. And Harry Potter indulges the fantasy of tapping into a power called magic.
Perhaps people feel weak and vulnerable at this point in history because massive governments can do what they want and seemingly get away with it. Giant corporations seem to have similar power. People also feel economically vulnerable. Nations across the world now teeter on the edge of a debt crisis that threatens to bring down economies everywhere. The veneer of civilization feels thinner than ever.
People feel vulnerable in all kinds of ways. Get your wording wrong in an email to a friend, and you could lose your job and your reputation. In the United States, we used to believe in “innocent until proven guilty.” But in many ways that has been reversed. People feel vulnerable to accusation as never before in this country.
Fear of global warming has turned even the most secular among us into believers in a coming apocalypse. Climate scientists might as well walk around Times Square wearing sandwich signs that say, “The End is Near.” But people don’t look at them as kooks. They believe it. And whether a danger is real or not, if people believe it, they feel vulnerable. That sense of vulnerability will grow as we go deeper into the end times. It will eventually lead to the Antichrist and False Prophet rising to prominence with a message of empowerment.
But God tells us to trust Him. Walk in faith, knowing that He is good, and He has made certain promises. Those promises are better than money in the bank — infinitely better! Put your life in His hands, then trust Him to hold you securely forever. If you’re tempted to feel fear or anxiety, pray. Philippians 4:6 in the New Living Translation says, “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.”
Remember that Jesus said to pray in His name, using His righteousness and His authority as you stand before God the Father. Nehemiah 9:32 calls Him, “The great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and lovingkindness.” Ephesians 1:19 speaks of, “The surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” Revelation 19:6 calls Him “the Lord God omnipotent.” That means He is all-powerful.
And He loves you. You don’t need an imaginary superhero. Jesus gives you access to real power, and real peace.