Life these days can be discouraging. This is especially the case as one watches news reports or reads headlines.
For example, it was reported this morning that the President of the United States has vowed that he will ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines “come hell or high water.” To millions, what he refers to as assault weapons and high capacity magazines are basic firearms they’ve owned for decades and that serve as a means of self-defense in an increasingly violent world. To ban them would mean that one would be at the mercy of criminals who will be armed whether strict gun laws are passed or not.
The news today is also dominated by the trial of a man accused of murdering his wife and son. Some are certain that he’s guilty, while others rally to his defense and insist upon his innocence. Headlines outlining horrible crimes, injustice, and attempts to legislate away basic human rights and freedoms seem to be published on a daily basis.
With the news being dominated by such things, it’s more important than ever to balance what happens in this quickly-changing world with the unchanging word of God. Doing so offers us an eternal perspective that calms our hearts and places what’s happening now into context.
As they consider what’s happening in the world today, a number of my friends get very frustrated. One of the most disturbing things to them is the view that people are getting away with one thing or another. Law-makers propose or pass laws restricting freedoms, and criminals seem to be able to commit violent offences with few or no consequences.
Yes, both the headlines and the realities of life today are frustrating. Yet, it’s important to remember that God remains in control. He sees everything that happens. The truth is that in the end no one will get away with anything. We will all face the Lord one day and give account for our actions.
By God’s grace, some individuals realize that like all others they were born into sin. They acknowledge their sin to God, turn away from it, and trust that Jesus died for them. In doing so they find forgiveness and peace. They experience this now, and will do so for eternity. Having been forgiven through Christ, their sins will not be counted against them, and they will spend eternity with God.
In contrast, there are many who reject God’s offer of forgiveness through Christ. They willingly practice sin, and place their own ways above God’s revealed will. One day they will find themselves on their knees before their creator. They will tremble with fear and regret as they give an account for their actions and face judgment. As we consider this truth, let it lead us to two things.
First, let’s commit to praying for those who reject God to follow their own ways. Let’s pray that the Lord will draw them to himself, and that they will come to a knowledge of the truth, confess their sin, receive Jesus as Savior, and follow him as Lord.
Second, let’s find peace in the knowledge that God is in control. Even as the news and realities of life on earth become much worse in the years to come, we can rest in knowing that God sees everything. By searching God’s word and making it a priority in our lives, we can live to please God even in this world of sin. We can know peace and forgiveness based on our faith in Jesus. Through God’s word we can also rest in the fact that we know how the story ends.
The next time you find yourself frustrated that someone who rages against all that God holds dear and who seems to be successful in his or her efforts, recall scripture verses like Matthew 10:26 (ESV). Concerning those who oppose Christ followers, in this verse Jesus said:
Have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
This and many other verses make it abundantly clear that ultimately no one will get away with anything. In the end all will be brought into the light, and will be seen. Let this truth calm your heart, and let it lead us to pray for those who work so hard against what God has revealed in his word. And let us take great comfort in the words of Jesus as recorded in John 16:33 (ESV) when he said:
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
May we know the peace that’s only found in Jesus. Amen!