Saturday, April 2, 2011
Trouble, Trouble, Trouble...
You see it when you turn on CNN, Fox News, or BBC. You can't look at a news and information website without it jumping at you off the screen. It dominates the world today. Trouble.
There's the earthquake and tsunami with resulting radioactive issues in Japan. Countries in North Africa and the Middle East are dominoing with popular uprisings. A relatively ignored war is happening in Ivory Coast where we now see over one million refugees and internally displaced peoples. Not to mention that Haiti is still trying to crawl out from under last year's rubble, chronic hunger grips many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, HIV-AIDS has now killed almost 30 million worldwide, global economies and traditional power houses are reeling from financial pressures, etc., etc., etc....
Signs of the end of the ages? Absolutely! Reasons to turn it off, turn our backs and become more and more insular each day? Not a chance!
We are living in some of the most opportune days since the beginning of the world. While our hearts go out to those in these areas mentioned who are suffering, we as followers of Jesus Christ and believers in an all powerful and all knowing God have complete assurance that God is at work in these historical events. Moreover, the history that we see being made today in the form of all these troubles really is a part of the grand design.
So, is it God's will that people suffer due to armed conflict, HIV/AIDS, hunger and poverty? Absolutely not! God created man (and woman) to be wholly in Him, His fellowship and His care. The "troubles" that we experience and see today are the results and a sure sign that we live in a fallen and dying world. This bears repeating: our world, at best, is a dying world. It will pass away just like me and you. Don't believe for one minute that our cleverness, collective human knowledge or any other attributes we possess will work to change this fact. We are a dying race of man living in a dying world. Pessimistic or just plain realistic?
Here's the good news, however. Jesus said to His followers in John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!"
So, if you and I want to avoid trouble, we have probably been born to the wrong species. How I find comfort in all the trouble is to ask God what He is doing in the midst of what I perceive as chaos. I then ask Him to show me not only what He is doing but how can I join Him in doing something about it that will align myself with Him in seeing His Kingdom come and His will being done.
Trouble? It isn't going to go away. But even if it doesn't "go", we can always take comfort and confidence in knowing that something better is coming...Jesus Himself! :)