Proverbs 17:20 He that hath a froward heart findeth no good…
There’s nothing quite like keeping up on the news to birth and speed up the process of atrophy in a Christian’s happy heart. It’s pretty difficult to stay centered in the joy of the Lord when, face it, the earth is full of abominations and wickedness, and it’s mostly done by folks who confess to falling short here and there but are, overall, pretty good people. It just sounds so reasonable, how sins such as telling a white lie now and then is innocuous….and yet as Christians convicted of both our own sins (liar, liar, pants on fire…) and the holiness of God (Revelation 21:8 …all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire…) we tend to stand dumbfounded by the foolishness around us. Don’t they see….I can’t believe…How could they….That’s not right…
There is a difference between discernment and despair. Discernment says, “I see it. I understand (that is, allow my heart to do that awful thing sinners hate: judge), and I know this is fully against God’s perfect Word and ways. I hate the sin that God hates. I cry over it.” Despair says, “Oh no! What are we gonna do?! The world’s falling apart!”
A little history? The world’s been falling apart since the trip in the garden of Eden. The atrocities we are privy to thanks to the era we’re living in are nothing new under the sun. Yes, they anger us. Yes, they break our hearts. And yes, they sometimes strike fear for our families and homes. But still there is no cause for despair.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
This is hard to do, this giving thanks in every thing. But it can only come from sitting firmly at the feet of Jesus, who created every thing and rules every thing. We forget that though the devil goes to and fro throughout the earth to create havoc, pain and death, he’s still on a leash (isn’t that something to give thanks for?!). Every horrible thing….God is using. Every tear…God is saving. Every martyr’s death…God finds precious. If you think you are grieved, angered and hungry for justice….how much more so in our eternal, infinite God? If anything, we ought to be even more humbled and even more fearful for those instruments of wickedness who will soon be face to face with a just God!
I think we Christians need to stop glooming and dooming about it all and reclaim and remember the JOY we have of (first and foremost) being saved from the wrath to come. We need to remember that every hardship is for our good, and managed by the Lord Himself. And can we just preach the gospel to ourselves more and remember that we though we may be experiencing chastisement or hardship (as a loving Father does to His children….for their good…) we aren’t being punished because Jesus took ALL the punishment for our sins upon Himself already? Is there a smile creeping upon your face yet?
Glory in His perfect ways today, glory in His goodness, His presence, His shalom. And maybe, every now and then…turn off the news and turn on your voice to sing hymns and praises. Then you, too, will be a wonder among men who may in turn have ears to hear the wonderful news of the gospel and find peace…and turn from their wicked ways.
Proverbs 16:6 …by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Psalms 100:2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Blessings and joy to you today,