Written by Derek Barthels / October 2015
If you’ve followed the news over the past couple months, you’ve seen a lot of things that should concern a Christian. Upon seeing things like the latest reports on the activities of Planned Parenthood, the widespread perversions of God’s plan for human sexuality, and the horrific violence that occurs far too often, we can start to get the impression that the world is getting out of control. But is it really?
Remember that everything we’re seeing today isn’t really anything new. “Is there anything of which it may be said, ‘See, this is new’? It has already been in ancient times before us” (Ecclesiastes 1:10). The world has always rejected Christ and His followers, and everything we see today is a continuation of that. We also see this in the way Christians are viewed by people in our country. Many perceive us as disillusioned bigots who actually believe the “fairy tales” of the Bible. Jesus knew the kind of pressure we would face on this earth because He experienced everything we do today: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18). We have to remember that we live in a world that is constantly trying to tear us away from Jesus.
This is from where we as Christians can get our comfort. It comes in the faith that even in evil times, God will preserve those that put their faith in Him and His promises.
Knowing this, where can we find comfort? Let’s go back and look at how God provided for His people in the past when they had fallen on hard times. He delivered Joseph from slavery, fed the Israelites while they wandered through the desert, and we can read throughout the book of Daniel how He provided for His people while they were in exile in Babylon. We see time and again that God keeps the promise He made in the book of Deuteronomy, “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” (Deut. 31:6), and again in Matthew, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matt. 7:11).
What are these “good things” that Matthew writes about? Well, as far as earthly blessings go, these differ from person to person depending on what God wants us to have. What we can know for sure is that God will not hesitate to give us what we need to preserve our faith, especially when we ask for it in prayer. We should pray for things such as strength, perseverance, love, and wisdom. And we must remember to not only pray for these things for ourselves, but also for those who share our faith in Christ as well the hardships of this world.
This is from where we as Christians can get our comfort. It comes in the faith that even in evil times, God will preserve those that put their faith in Him and His promises. This doesn’t mean that our lives on earth will be easy or that we won’t suffer for what we believe (even today we see many Christians imprisoned and executed in other countries because of their faith in Christ). It means that whether we’re going through trying times or happy times, God will always provide for us everything we need to live on this earth as His people.
With this knowledge and comfort comes a command. We are to spread these things to everyone we can. Share with them the knowledge that the world and their souls are lost, sinful, and broken. Share with them the comfort that even though we turned our backs on God, He has given us a means of salvation through the death and resurrection of His Son, and that Jesus is preparing a permanent home in heaven for all who believe in Him. That is the responsibility we have been chosen to carry out. We are to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified to all mankind with one goal: “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Col. 1:28).
So is the world getting out of control? No. Despite all the horrible things we see all around us, we can look throughout the history of the world and even throughout our own lives, and see God’s hand at work, continuing to preserve those who put their trust in Him. Taking comfort in all these things, let us be bold and confident while continuing to serve in whatever way God calls each of us to do so.