Lately, I've been noticing a trend. Many of my friends, especially the male ones, seem to be feeling the pain of what is going on around them. During the conversation, you will hear a lot about what is wrong in the world today. I'm not sure if they feel it more acutely because of their gender, or if they simply have spent more time listening to the negative voices that keep telling us "the sky is falling." Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that these are the people who spend a lot of time listening to the "news".
Don't get me wrong. I know the news is filled with horrible stuff...wars and rumors of wars, scandals that would make the people of Sodom and Gomorrah blush, news of economic downturns that make the Great Depression look like a slight blip in history...maybe that's the problem. These guys are listening to the news.
I'm not abdicating being blind to what is going on in the world today. I believe we need to know what is going on and have our hearts broken for those who suffer around us. We are to rail against injustice for the oppressed and speak out boldly about those things that go against God's Word. Yet somehow in all of this we also called to be a voice of hope. That's hard to do if you fill your mind and thoughts with the bad news of the day.
Whether it comes by radio, television or circumstances...that bad news wants to steal your hope and your joy. It wants to get you to take your eyes off the author and finisher of our faith and focus instead on what your eyes see. But your eyes can deceive you. I recently saw a video clip of a magician who somehow made it look as if his head fell off into his hands when he sneezed. Of course, it caused the unsuspecting to scream in horror at what appeared to be happening. Reality and appearance were two very different things.
I don't like a lot of what I see happening around me today, but the things I see are not the whole story. We fight not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places...and I know who wins that war. My Father wins.
So yes, I know things seem bad. As Paul Harvey once said, "In times like these, it helps to remember there have always been times like these." John 14:27 (Amplified version) puts it this way: "Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]" Follow that with John 10:10: "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)."
The sky isn't falling...but continue to watch for one day it will split and He will return. Until that time, hold on to His promises: John 16:33 (Amplified) "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]"