For 21 years we have seen God’s faithful hand as we have served thousands of people in 10 nations on three continents.
With this opening, we see that God is our true and only source…
At the end the Psalmist rightly acknowledges…
“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” (Psalm 90:17 ESV)
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.””
John 13:34 ESV
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV
“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
Philippians 1:9-11 ESV
I was recently asked this question. I answered my old friend with what follows.
I hear your exasperation. Let me share three ideas from Scripture that might be helpful to you.
1) From his incarnation in Rome, Paul told the Philippians that he had “learned to be content” whatever the circumstances. This has really helped me during the pandemic. I have found the Scriptures to be a safer haven than ANY kind of media. Which brings me to another truth that he wrote about from the same context…
2) C. S. Lewis said “Aim at heaven, get earth thrown in.” This is Lewis’ way of helping us with Paul’s admonition to the Colossians:
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2 ESV)
Indeed, we must be reminded regularly that Christ is superior to all the opposition of the world. The writer of Hebrews – who was writing to people who were persecuted with Jesus in the later 1st century. They we’re asking a similar question as posed above. The writer of Hebrews had a great message: Jesus is superior to everything created, so HOLD IN TO HIM! I commend this epistle to you.
From that great letter, remember this:
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
(Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV)
God hears your frustration with the darkness in the world and ways of the world, and – trust me – he understands. Earlier in the letter he says:
“…At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.” (Hebrews 2:8c ESV)
3) But please remember this:
God is God.
He acts according to his perfect will which is beyond human challenge.
His greatness supersedes all human understanding.
He is here and he is active.
He knows the hearts of all people and deals with each one justly. Because he is just.
Finally, from a purely human perspective: As a student of history, I can tell you that this dark time is nothing new. Since the Fall, humans have brutalized one another. All serious students of history and of the Bible as well, will recognize that – unlike humanists – we don’t believe man is getting better, mankind is sinful, mankind is broken. To expect man to solve the world’s problems is like expecting a sparrow to stop a hurricane. It can’t happen.
The answer to darkness in the world for serious disciples of Jesus is this:
Run to HIM. He is the answer, and he alone.
Trust not man, trust God.
Then, when you see the atrocities that I have seen, you will understand as I have learned, that the sin and injustice of mankind to one another is not a reflection on God, but a reflection of the fallen-ness of our race.
Rely on HIM, not them. Then you can survive anything “they” throw at you.
I pray our loving Lord will give you trust in Himself, and that peace will result.