Troubled Times: The Call to Hope or Despair?

     It is truly difficult for some of us to focus on God’s promises to us. We are bombarded daily with news of disasters, calamities, and man’s inhumanity to mankind. We see so much crime, cheating, suffering and hurt. What are we to do? Should we throw up our hands in despair and frustration? Should we ask the government to save us, when we know that a government run by man cannot meet our real needs? Should we become angry and indignant with a world that is “going to hell in a hand basket?”

          God created this world and everything that is in it. It is our disobedience to God that changed His perfect world to a world impacted by sin. However, we must remember that God has never lost control of this world. See Colossians 1:16-20.
16) For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones
     or dominions or rulers or authorities all things have been created by Him and for Him.
17) And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
18) He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He
     Himself might come to have first place in everything.
19) For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
20) and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

    What is it that God has done with this earth and the heavens? God has created everything that is in heaven and in the earth. He controls everything that He made and all that affects what He made. If we are in Christ, then we know that Jesus Christ, God the Son, reconciles us to God the Father.
     Because Jesus is the manifestation of the fullness of God, even though He walked in this world with all of its troubles and ugliness that came from sin, He is victorious over sin. He was in the world but not of the world. Because we are in Christ, created in the image of God, all Christian believers are also victorious over sin. We are in the world, but not of the world. Yes, we can be touched by the craziness and evil of this world and these times, but we have a greater hope that leads to victory. In Colossians 1:9-14 and 1:21-23, we learn from Paul what the Father has planned for us, His children and believers in Christ.

9) For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
10) so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11) strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously
12) giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
13) For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
14) in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

21) And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,
22) yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach
23) if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

     Even in troubled times, we can be assured that God has a glorious plan for us who believe in Him, trust in Him, and trust in the hope of His gospel. What must we do? Through His indwelling Holy Spirit,
  • Pray to God faithfully to develop a strong personal relationship with him;
  • Pray for each other that we be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, with all wisdom and understanding from Him;
  • Walk in this world (live our lives) in a manner that is worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in everything;
  • Do good works that bear good fruit, increasing the knowledge of God in others;
  • Study His Word, the Bible, holding on to His promises to us that we find throughout His Word;
  • Submit to the Father and be strengthened by His power and His might so that we can be steadfast, patient and joyful no matter what challenges and evil that we face.
     It is God’s intention, His perfect plan for you, to present you to Himself, “holy and blameless and beyond reproach.” Remember: “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son...” Christians cannot be about spreading the doom and gloom of the world. Christians must share their light in Christ with the world so that those with no hope can find true hope in Jesus Christ. The world and its leaders have no real hope to give.
The hope and promise of the gospel is that if we repent of our sins and submit to His perfect will, we will live with Him forever in the Kingdom of God. These promises from God inspire us! So be inspired, get up, and get going as the Holy Spirit directs you! We will be victorious over these troubled times as we bring the light of Christ into this troubled world.