Update: CNN reports ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Brussels Attacks.
BREAKING: About 170 people were injured and 34 killed this morning in explosions in Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The explosions occurred at Brussels Airport and at Maalbeek metro station.
Two blasts, one of which is believed to be a suicide bombing, were detonated in the check-in area of the Zaventem Airport in Brussels. The explosions sent airport pedestrians running as airport officials stopped business and flights for the day. The explosions were accompanied by shots and shouts in Arabic.
About an hour after the explosions at the airport, an explosion killed 20 at a subway station in the district of Maalbeek, precipitating the close of the entire public transportation system in Brussels.
Similar to the attack in Paris on November 13, 2015, which ISIS has claimed responsibility for, an undetonated bomb was found, the BBC reports. After a four-month chase, Salah Abdeslam, the last survivor of ten men believed to have direct involvement with the Paris attack, was arrested on Friday, March 18.
The New York Times reports the French government set 1,600 extra officers to enforce and protect their borders. CNN reports a tweet from neighboring French President François Hollande that Europe is rocked by the attack.
“I express my entire solidarity with the Belgian people. Through the Brussels attacks, it is the whole of Europe that is hit.”
Belgium, Europe And The World
We’re living in uncertain times—that is not news. But what do we do when we wake to news of bombs and body counts? When our news feeds are filled with images of terrorist attacks? How do we respond?
Terrorist attacks, by nature, are supposed to scare people. That’s why they’re called terrorist attacks—emphasis on the terrorism. Terrorists want to drive us to fear—to fear what they can and might do at any given time. So then, when we respond with fear, we aid in their success and help them accomplish their goal. The battle between good and evil balances on the fulcrum of fear.
Not only are Belgium, France and Europe in a state of shock and awareness, so is the entire world. In an age of instant communication, we know immediately via the Internet what is happening and even get live video streams of events happening nearly anywhere on the earth. While our technology can be helpful and even be used to frustrate the plans of evil-doers, it can also cause us to be afraid at a moment’s notice and trigger a worrisome state.
A state we were not meant to live in.
Instead of giving in to terrorism with fear, we must remember three things:
Know Who Wins—Though we seem to be in a never-ending battle of blood and body counts, we must remember it is God who wins the war. Think about stories and what makes a story good. Redemption, of course. It’s a good story when the good guy wins and the bad guy is defeated. Good always wins. Stories end like that for a reason—because in the end, good wins. Even at the end of our story, good wins. We’re just not at the end yet. We’re still in the middle of the story. God will have the final say, and because He is good, He will win. Good will win. Not terrorists. Not ISIS. Not fear.
Fear Isn’t The Answer—While there is such a thing as a healthy fear—or respect—of God, we are not to operate in a spirit of fear. In fact, God has promised the opposite—”power, love, and self-discipline.” God does not want us to live and act in fear; a spirit of fear is not from Him. God promises strength in the face of terrorism.
Pray—There are a lot of things we do not and cannot understand about the world and even God. And if we did understand everything about God, well then, He wouldn’t be that impressive, would He? But what we can do is take those questions and doubts and fears and frustrations to Him directly. Ask Him the hard questions—He’s not afraid of them. Wail to Him for allowing such things to happen. Beat on His chest when you don’t understand. Cry out to Him when the world makes no sense and only angers you. Pray for the victims of terrorism—for those in the grip of extremism and those affected by them. Long for the end of the story, and beg God to win already.