It is easy to become discouraged by the world we see every day. We look around us and see wrong being done all around us and the people that are in control see no need to stop it. Instead, they argue about what should be done while doing nothing. If problems could be argued away, we would be living in heaven right now. In my simplistic mind, there are simple answers and I don’t understand why the powers that be can’t just agree on those simple answers and do something.
The solutions aren’t that simple though. I look at the actions of the nations, including this one, and see irrational stupidity every single day.
I’ve let this stuff get to me and suck the life out of my spirit, my hope and my faith. I have gone for years obeying the doom and gloom and allowing life to sit on top of me and weigh me down until I couldn’t move.
Here is the truth: Life is going to be hard here on this earth.
1 John 5:19 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.
We live in a country, no, an entire world, of those that turn their back on what God wants for us and goes in the direction of the one that wants to take us to our destruction. If I am a Christian and I have my eyes on God’s will, all of this stuff bothers me.
This might sound dreary and awful. But as this world clamors to find peace through imposing their will upon others and finding only war, poverty and pain, we can march to the beat of a different drummer and find calm in the midst of the storm.
The headlines may be terrible (and they usually are), but I can have hope and peace that feeds my faith allowing me to grow despite harsh conditions.
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.
Christians get discouraged because they become Christians and think that’s all there is to it and they are good to go. Well, they are good to go to heaven but when it comes to going in a world that will oppose them, not so much. Others get discouraged because they believe getting good to go means carrying a list of rules around and if they don’t break the rules, life will be easy. Then, when life is still hard, they give up. Still others just can’t seem to live by the set of rules they have been burdened with and live a life of conflict between themselves and the rules.
John tells us that we live in fellowship with the true God because we understand and know him. If we must have a rule to live by, rule number one should be to spend time with God in prayer and his Word! We don’t get to know God by forcing legalistic behavior upon ourselves and doing what others tell us is right and wrong. We get to know him and take on his nature and allow him to change us and that change will alter our behavior.
People rely on the laws of the land to keep citizens in line. Every law in the book gets broken every day. What we really need is a force inside of us that encourages us to do good, even if doing bad is accepted by the rest of the world.
I’ve lived the life of rules for a long time. I found myself tiptoeing along the line between right and wrong for decades. There is no peace there. I can’t find rest on that line. I am constantly trying to keep my balance and not fall. But I fell anyway and the landings were hard and damaging.
A life of fellowship, finding common ground with God himself keeps me far away from falling into the abyss of pain known as sin.
1 John 5:21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.
The easiest way for me to keep away from what takes God’s place is to check out God’s place often, daily, and make sure that I am in agreement with him, that my fellowship is pleasing to him, and correct whatever is wrong and be glad that he is with me still. Even though I am imperfect, if I spend time alone with him, he will be faithful to spend time with me.
I don’t face this world alone. The turmoil going on around me is raging and relentless but the God of Heaven lives in me, walks beside me and leads me down a different path. Life isn’t easy but it is doable. Challenges are met and there are rewards in the future. And when the times get hard and I am too weak to stumble ahead anymore there is shelter in his arms.