Demoralized? The evils in this world can overwhelm. Many ask questions like: “Where is God?” or “How can God allow such pain and tragedy?”
Such concerns may even cause one who has confessed faith in the Lord, to backslide and be overwhelmed by hopelessness. The mountains of evil have ready publicists in the media and the world just seems to be imploding.
Backslider, you are not alone! The Bible openly speaks about a wounded or ‘broken’ spirit.’ “The spirit of a man will endure his sickness, but a broken spirit who may bear?” (Proverbs chapter 18, verse 14)
This crisis is not new. Job referred to it. “The tents of the destroyers are at peace, and there is security for those who provoke God” says Job (Job chapter 12, verses 6). And that is how it may seem. Those who attack the faith and cause mayhem in this world seem to have the upper hand. Such a thought is indeed overwhelming.
Those many years ago, Job spoke great wisdom for today. “A human being born of a woman is short of days and full of troubles.” (Job chapter 14, verse 1) He declared: ‘you destroy hope of human beings.’ (Job 1chapter 4, verse 19)
The writer to the Hebrews described ‘faith is the realization of what is hoped for…” (Hebrews chapter 11, verse 1) When that ‘realization’ is delayed, some grow weary of the wait. They feel frustration and impatience. Eventually some give up! That same writer had encouraging things to say. “Remember the former days in which you were enlightened.” (Hebrews chapter 10, verse 32) “For you have need of endurance.” (Hebrews chapter 10, verse 36) he advised.
Our danger is being flooded or washed in the world rather than being washed in the Word. We are constantly indoctrinated by events that refuse the way of the Lord. So many are fuelled by the flesh or worse. (Highlighting the importance of evangelism)
We are experiencing godlessness. He who is Love is ignored, while self and selfishness chooses aggressive hostility. When the God who said ‘Love your neighbour’ is removed, what is left?
Consider this thought written by J.R.R. Tolkien in The Fellowship of the Rings: “The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” With modern journalism constantly in the search for the sensational, or the most dramatic or horrendous thing, it takes some time to find the positives I remember learning painfully to enjoy roses but to avoid thorns.
In no way do I want to take backsliding lightly. The world is a mess, but it has always been that way. Your concern and heartfelt sorrow over the evil circumstances indicate you may not be as backslidden as you think. You may be sharing the burden of the Lord? When the He observed evil behavior He wept. He offered the solution to the fallen, but His offer was ignored. That grieved His heart. The good news is that in His grief He did not give up on the sinners. He continued to reach out to them and He continues that endeavor today.
In moments of my own grave concern I have turned my focus on renewing my mind. These have been among my most valuable tools.
• Gratitude. “Give thanks in all things” Paul wrote. (1 Thessalonians chapter 5, verse 18) It is not hard for me to look at my grandchildren and give thanks. My marriage is also a place of joy for me. I could make a long list.
• Generosity.”Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.” (Luke chapter 6, verse 38)
• Admiration. C. S, Lewis had a way of saying the most effective thing, in the most direct way. “To love and admire anything outside yourself is to take one step away from utter spiritual ruin.” — Mere Christianity, C.S.Lewis
• Positivity. “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians chapter 4, verse 8, NLT)
• Awareness. Love this quote: “The best things in history are accomplished by people who get tired of being shoved around.” Have Space Suit—Will Travel, Robert A. Heinlein).
Been shoved around? Tired of that position? Respond! Take action! Renewing your fellowship with the Lord is simple. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James chapter 4, verse 8) If you just speak to Him, He will enable you to get over the hump.
You will want to say you’re sorry... It’s called confessing your sin. You doubted Him. But He forgives and He restores. (1 John chapter 1, verse 9) He is like the father of the prodigal. He will come to you, with open arms. His mercies are new every morning.
And by the way! Don’t forget the fallen world. Keep praying for the hurting, the abused. Pray for the abusers and those lost and angry souls who desperately need to find the love of God too.
You are important in this struggle. Very important. If you want some encouragement, send me a note.
Ron Ross is a Middle East consultant for United Christian Broadcasters (Vision FM). Previously he was an evangelist with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) His career started at WINTV (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ron Ross previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/ron-ross.html