What do you think when you look at our country and our world? Are you afraid or at peace? There are many reasons for concern. Severe economic crises are devastating various European nations. There is a power struggle in the volatile countries of the Middle East. Nations with unstable governments have nuclear weapons. Our own nation is descending further into crippling debt. We are facing a presidential election that may or may not provide our country with the leadership we need in the next 4 years. Society's slide into moral decay and inhibition appears to continue unchecked. There is confusion about sexuality, marriage, right, wrong, and everything in between. Feeling good yet?
What should the Christian's response be? I hope yours is not despair or depression. Instead, here are 2 responses that should characterize us: confident joy and a willingness to be salt and light.
How in the world can we have cause for confidence and joy in the midst of great trouble and turmoil?
1. God is on the throne. Psalm 2 says, "The kings of earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his anointed...He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision." If God laughs, why shouldn't we? He is not troubled by government instability and economic disaster. He is our sovereign God and we rest in his powerful, wise, good hands.
2. Jesus. John 14:27;16:33 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid...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." Do you believe him?
3. Our joy is in the Lord, not in our circumstances. Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always; again i will say, Rejoice." If our joy was tied to our circumstances, reading the first paragraph of this post might be enough to fill us with despair. But our joy is in the Lord who does not change.
The second response is to be salt and light in the dark and decaying world in which we live. Matthew 5:13-16 "You are the salt of the earth...You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Do your neighbors and classmates and co-workers know that you love Jesus? Is your community the better for your salty influence? Are you going to vote in the election? Have you volunteered at or supported your local crisis pregnancy center? Are you faithful to and active in your local church? Are you preparing your children for this kind of life? You have influence. Don't waste it by hiding away in fear. It may be tempting to isolate yourself from all you see that you don't like, but that's not the life God has called us to. He has called us to live for him in this world. May your life of confident joy be salty and bright in your community.
Some miscellaneous musings from Pastor Aaron.
When I quote Scripture In this blog, unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are usually from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission.
All rights reserved.