Scanning the headlines of major news outlets this week, readers have been informed about political candidates, scandals, polls, and the general mayhem going on around the world. It can be enough to unhinge even the most positive and stable of people. Among the various subjects getting more press these days is the unemployment numbers and their potential for artificiality as well as the general (bad) mood of people in the country. Despite all the “good” news about the economy, people in the middle do not seem hopeful for the future and do not feel that their lives are improving in any measurable way. Regardless of what is happening in our time or any time, in our country or any country around the globe, God’s people need to take heart.
Solomon, in all his wisdom, repeatedly pointed to the fact that there is “nothing new under the sun.” That is an eloquent way of saying the world is not worse today than it has ever been. It is likely that because of our unprecedented access to the goings on in the world and because of the ubiquity of media that we hear and see more news than any generation before us. Everyone has the ability to be a reporter with a cell phone camera and network access, so we know the minute an Elephant rampages the streets of a city on the Indian Subcontinent and the video goes viral.
The Bible, as a whole, is God’s story of redemption and one of the repeated themes of the story is of God’s being in control. As long as the Israelites were faithful in their walk with God, they succeeded. When they fell, God graciously and always took them back. Regardless of our various interpretations and suppositions about the book of Revelation, the one truth most agree upon is the fact that God was demonstrating through all the symbolism that He would emerge as the victor over all the struggles of a fallen world. It is easy for humanity to forget this, to overlook the repeated theme of God’s control over the events of history, or to constantly blame God because we do not fully understand Him.
In Matthew 24, Jesus attempted to prepare the minds of His disciples by informing them of the reality of war, atrocity, and disaster. These were the outcomes of living in a fallen world and were to be expected of life in the realm of time and space to which we are bound. Rather than turn us from God, these things were meant to turn us to God. In Philippians 4, the apostle Paul intimated that he had learned in whatever state he found himself in to be faithful. We can take heart from these truths, that whatever happens in the next election or in the next natural disaster, or in the next breath we breathe God has something better planned for the next life, don’t miss it because you were too worried about what is going on in the here and now. God’s people need to take heart, tune in to God’s word and pray about living for the eternity He has prepared for those who love and obey Him.
Minister, Central Church of Christ