As I watch our country going down the drain, I have a natural tendency to complain. Right before us there are surges in crime and refusal to prosecute criminals, strong support for abortion, immorality exalted, religious freedom being eroded, free speech attacked, the cancel culture shutting many down, a great shift to the left, the teaching of marxism in schools, the sexualizing of little children in school and the list goes on.
How should we as followers of Jesus respond to these situations? The author of Psalm 73, Asaph, struggled unsuccessfully to understand the evil of his day, the prosperity of the wicked, and the injustice to the poor and defenseless.
He said, “When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me” (v. 16). I can identify with this feeling. In our human understanding, all the evil, tragedy, terror, and problems that come from Satan’s work and men’s corrupt hearts are at times overwhelming and incomprehensible.
But Asaph then looked to God and found an answer: “. . . it was oppressive to me, till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” When Asaph looked away to God in worship, then he got the big picture of what God was doing.
This is an important key: When we look away to God, spending time in worship, we get His perspective. We can better understand how God is using the outworking of sin and Satan’s evil works, all the tragedy, suffering, and turmoil in the world to work out His plan. He is working to:
• sweep millions into His kingdom
• bring believers to maturity
• make their testimonies more powerful
• bring judgment on evil
• bring history to a conclusion
• and, in the end, wipe out evil.
So now when I hear of all the terrible things happening in the world, when events threaten to overwhelm me, I do grieve for those suffering. I do pray for them (we should be using the news as part of our prayer matter).
But I no longer let this weigh on me because I now see it in the larger framework of how God is using these events to bring many into His kingdom and to bring history to His desired conclusion.
So I say this phrase to myself, “God is moving history to a conclusion and taking us with us him–so it’s ok!
I no longer carry the burden of the world on my shoulders; I do not get worked up about “the wrong person being elected” or “the wrong bill being passed.” I pray about it, perhaps write to my senator, and certainly vote when the opportunity comes, as well as give, help, and get involved in any other way the Lord may direct me to.
But I know that God has His plans in allowing and sometimes sending such things. I can trust Him to do what is right and good, even though I can’t understand it now.
I flee to the eternal perspective of Colossians 3:3-4, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” God is moving things to an end and will appear! He has things in hand! He’s fitting everything into His plan!
He is moving history to a conclusion and taking us with Him! I can let go of what bothers me, hold on to this great truth and rise above the crumbling of culture around me.
Our part is to worship, pray, and trust our great God — and to be involved as He directs. (In no way do I believe we should try to avoid taking responsibility!). We need to find our joy in Jesus, not in having things go well in the world!