We woke up this morning to yet another senseless tragedy in our country. It seems like I can’t get through a day without reading about some dreadful story or another. It feels as though society is getting worse, our future dimmer, and our world more uncertain. On days like today, when our world’s insecurity seems even more overwhelming, here are five truths I try to remember:
1. Nothing surprises God. Nothing. Nothing happens without His permission or outside of His plan. We can rest in knowing that God is Sovereign and that He has a plan for this world and for our lives. The Bible makes it clear: this world will bring trouble but true and lasting peace will triumph in the end when He returns or calls us home to heaven.
“ From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” – Psalm 61:2
2. Fear and worry accomplish nothing. I could worry all day long about this country and our future. It comes so naturally. What will it be like for my baby to grow up in a world like this? What’s going to happen if evil becomes more and more prevalent in society? What will become of our country after the next election? Will our freedoms be taken away? There’s so much to fear and so much to worry about. And yet, I accomplish nothing by focusing on those unanswerable questions. So instead, turn your thoughts away from those things and turn them toward what is true, right, pure, and lovely.
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” – Matthew 6:27
3. Love has a God-given definition. It is, without a doubt, our job as Christians to love others. But we have to remember that love is defined by God and not by you, me, or anyone else. In a world shouting “love” and “tolerance”, we need to speak and live out the true definition of love and tolerance. It doesn’t mean agreeing with everyone. It does mean treating those who disagree with us with kindness. It doesn’t mean that we don’t speak the truth just in case it offends someone. It does mean that we speak the truth in love.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4. You never know what the next day will bring. It seems as though tragedy is everywhere. And unfortunately, none of us get a guarantee that it won’t affect us or those close to us. So enjoy today. Don’t say the unkind comment that’s on the tip of your tongue. Let the dishes sit in the sink for another hour and play an extra game with your kids. Snuggle your baby for a few more minutes. Complement and encourage. Talk to your husband for ten more minutes tonight instead of turning on the TV. Be with your family. Book the vacation. And for goodness sake, put your phone down.
5. Be prepared to stand and to speak. We know the good news amongst all of the bad news. Be ready and willing to share the gospel with those who don’t. And be prepared to stand for the truth as it’s going to become that much harder. Know God’s Word…read it, study it, memorize it. Otherwise, how will you even know what truth to stand for?
I certainly struggle in both remembering and applying these things in my own life, but they definitely provide a little hope and purpose during these confusing times. I pray they do the same for you!