It can be easy to become obsessed with the discouragement that flows through the news channels. Now, I’m not suggesting that bad things aren’t happening. And I do believe that evil occurrences are happening with more regularity and at deeper levels of depravity. I’m not suggesting anyone refuse to look at the reality of the world in which we live. But we do need balance in our observation of reality. And in that balance, we need to determine what we will believe.
I should believe that bad things happen. I should not be oblivious to truth… even bad truth. The enemy, Satan is called the ‘prince of the power of the air.’ He is called the ‘god of this world’. I need to know that. But I should not be overrun by the evil in the world, and I must be careful how I acknowledge that evil. As a Christian, the worst news in the world is not nearly as important as the best news in the universe. The Gospel (good news) is the best. It is the top. It is not only the reason for living, it is the fuel for living. I should believe that evil is real, but I should believe in the greatness of the goodness of God.
Scripture talks about the problems of life, but also about the purpose and power to live above those problems. If you ever browse through the Psalms you will find a weaving of the bad and good of life. The authors will cry out in desperation when under attack from their enemies, and at the same time recognize that help is available, swift, and sustained in God. In one writing, David gives us a great example of what it means to absolutely trust that we are in God’s great care. Look at what he pens…
“Protect me, God, for I take refuge in You.
I said to Yahweh, ‘You are my Lord; I have nothing good besides You.’
As for the holy people who are in the land, they are the noble ones. All my delight is in them.
The sorrows of those who take another god for themselves will multiply;
I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood, and I will not speak their names with my lips.
Lord, You are my portion and my cup of blessing; You hold my future.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord who counsels me— even at night my conscience instructs me.
I keep the Lord in mind always. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices; my body also rests securely.
For You will not abandon me to Sheol (death/the grave); You will not allow Your Faithful One to see decay.
You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.” (Psalm 16)
You can complain about your life. You can whine about the government. You can belly ache about what you don’t have. You can blame others for your problems. You can cry about the heat until you rail against the cold. You have that freedom.
Or you can look at the blessings in your lives and realize that God has been much better to you than you deserve. You can recognize His amazing work in your life. You can praise the One who protects you from all the evil you see. You can acknowledge that God holds your future. You can refuse to give time or place to the ones who do evil. You can proclaim that death will not control you because God continuously gives you life in the present, and will continue to do so beyond the grave.
You choose what you will do today. But before you curse this day, think about who gave you the breath to curse or bless it.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.