America appears to be in a constant state of panic. We fear losing our retirements to another stock market crash. We fear losing our jobs to another economic downturn. We fear radiation from Japan and damage from another earthquake, tornado or hurricane. We fear global warming, ozone depletion and at times, our own government and I could go on. But where does the Christian stand in all this upheaval? What message are we giving to a dying world? Do our actions, and our countenance, reflect the truth and power of the gospel, or have we followed the pattern of the world?
I have no idea when the end will come, and frankly, I don’t think that’s my concern. My concern–my God-given duty, is to stay watchful and keep busy. To make the most of the time I have. And as others are gripped with fear, I am to show them the confidence I have in Christ. I am to show them what it means to live in victory, as a child of the risen King who reigns sovereign, even now.
Did you catch that? God reigns sovereign, even now. The earthquake in Japan didn’t surprise Him. Nor did the stock market crash. The God of eternity past, present and future knows everything that has ever happened and everything that will ever happen, and His wisdom far exceeds any analysis we’ll find on television. Which means, our best course of action is to draw near to Him. To stay strong in Him, and to share His love with a dying world.
Because what if they days are short, and tomorrow is too late to tell that neighbor, co-worker or family member how they can be right with God?
As I was reading through Psalms this morning, I found chapter 55:9-10 quite appropriate:
9 Confuse them, Lord, and frustrate their plans,
for I see violence and conflict in the city.
10 Its walls are patrolled day and night against invaders,
but the real danger is wickedness within the city. (NLT)
Violence and conflict filed the city, but the real danger was the darkened hearts of the people living in the city.
It’s easy to get distracted by the media and to follow the panic wave, but God tells us to be alert, self-controlled, and to be about His business.
Am I afraid? Yes, but not of what might happen in the economy, nor of nuclear fall-out. What burdens me most is the knowledge that if Jesus were to return tomorrow, many whom I love would be condemned to hell. For eternity, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Today is the day of salvation. Today they have the opportunity to be made right with God. Tomorrow is guaranteed to no man. The next time we hear of a new political scandal, terrorist attack or devastating earthquake, may it remind us of what’s truly at stake.
I leave you with this passage:
1 Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
8 “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. 9 But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. 10And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
11 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
Meditate on verse twelve for a moment. The Holy Spirit is our comforter, friend and guide. But to gain from His wisdom and comfort, we first must draw close to Him. The closer we are to God, the stronger we’ll be when difficulties strike and the more effective our witness will be to a loss and hurting world.
And remember, if we are in Christ, we are in a position of victory. The ultimate battle’s already won. Christ claimed our victory when He hung on the cross. Battles will come, but we are on the winning team. And we know how this will all end, don’t we? When we stand before the eternal King, surrounded by His Presence, all our momentary struggles will be forgotten as unimaginable joy fills our soul.
The question is, who else will be there to celebrate with us?