Right now in the world, there are so many difficult things going on. There’s inflation, the threat of war, the church is on the decline, political unrest, and a divided United States… So many horrible things all caving in at one time.
When times like these come, it’s very easy to look around and say the world is ending….What will the church do? How will the church survive such horrible things? What if the USA somehow falls? What then? These are all understandable concerns. Many of us keep these in the back of our heads even if we would never vocalize them.
So what comfort is there to be found in such horrible times as these? Well, two things come to my mind.
First, the solid rock we have in the church comes to mind. The church has never been stopped by the falling or weakening of nations. When Rome fell, everyone thought that would be the end of the church, yet 1,500 years later, here we still are. Augustine points out in his work, The City of God, that earthly kingdoms may rise and fall, but the kingdom of God remains throughout it all. What an amazing thought… As long as God has a purpose for his church on earth, we can know that “the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (the church)” (Matthew 16:18). Augustine tells us that the “City of God” (The church) and the “City of Man” (Rome) both are divinely appointed and sovereignly brought about. One is an eternal and heavenly institution, and one will ultimately pass, whether it is now, later, or on the Day of the Lord. The people of God are going nowhere until Christ Returns. We can rest assured that regardless of any horrible thing happening around us, God will keep his people.
Secondly and more importantly, Hebrews 12 comes to mind. The author points out that there will be trials and there will be hard times, but we are to persevere. We are supposed to continue because of the example of the great cloud of brothers and sisters around us, before us, and after us. We are supposed to persevere by focusing on the one who has set us free from our spiritual burdens! We must fix our eyes on Christ.
Christ came and lived the same life you are right now with the same temptations and the same physical burdens. He lived free from sin, and not only did He live a blameless life, but He gave Himself so that you could be saved, adopted, counted as one with Him, justified, and ultimately to eventually bring you to a glorified state! When we focus on Christ and all He has done for us, often our concerns and worries will pass away.
God promises that he will feed the birds. How much more will he care for those who He sent His Son to die and suffer for? He loves us and is actively working things for our good even when we can’t see them yet.
When we are tempted to worry or doubt God’s plan this week, let’s fix our eyes on Jesus and all He has done for us.