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Even though some U.S. cities like Chicago have seen spikes in violent crime, the Congressional Research Service says the overall trend in violent crime is going down. Of course, it is hard to see this downward trend when spikes occur. Experts say a year-over-year spike does not necessarily mean the trend has ended. Needless to say, whatever the trend, people feel insecure when violence erupts in their area. For this reason, God in the Bible urges His people stay alert for difficult times by living near Him. Here is how Paul advised God’s people to act during perilous times, found in 2 Thessalonians 3: “Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.” So when tough times come, we do not lose hope or become unglued. We trust God to give us wisdom to act wisely; and we remember: nothing can happen to us without our Heavenly Father’s knowledge and approval.

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