By G. P. Avants
“ Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
Today I asked a student if she was getting close to graduation. She said yes, but one teacher had failed so she had to stay a little longer. The student didn’t say she failed the class, but the teacher failed her. That is backwards, but we live in times that have turned or flipped in a different direction.
Is it just me or have you noticed or as well?
The news tells us about wars, illnesses, wild dictators, fearful people, and lone gunmen popping up everywhere. Some neighborhoods are being replaced by online communities. How did the drug dealers and prison life become honored, while police officers and teachers, become suspects and even vilified? I could go on and vent about how many good things are considered bad and shameful behavior accepted as good and natural. The world as we know it has turning inside out and backwards .
So, let me pause here and say, this is not a piece written to nag or complain. I am observing the changing of seasons in the world. These times have been predicted in the Bible for thousands of years. We read about times of turmoil and trouble, but to see it all jump off the pages and fleshed out in real time really takes its toll. We are moving into a time of lawlessness, need I say anarchy, across the globe. Like a frog plopped into warm water, the heat is turning up and we are getting accustomed to this backwards world settling around us.
Okay, so consider this: How do people who love God and hate sin in this world supposed to function? It says in the Bible that part of the role reversal is believers in Christ being hated, persecuted, and even killed for their faith. This is a world-wide situation which includes the US. No place is a safe haven.
On a personal note, it wears on me. When I try and do what is right, people question my motives. Showing God’s love to certain family members is met with anger and even bitter words. If feels like fewer neighbors want to talk, there are less online comments from those I try to encourage, and every mistake I make is met with pointed accusations. It can wear on a man and make one question his faith. Needless to say, it can even make you become a little hard and cynical. It is a fight every day to not succumb to sadness and discouragement.
But, as bad as things look in time there are other things happening that are based in Eternity. Jesus, the author of life and this story we are all living in, knew this chapter was coming. Yes, this time of terribleness is here, but it is passing. It is like the parts in some of favorite stories when the characters like Christian from Pilgrim’s Progress, Frodo, or Harry Potter, have their character tested to the core. The beautiful reality is that those who walk with the Lord are doing just that, walking through time into a beautiful eternal life. How will love fare in a time of Anarchy? Read I Corinthians 13. Love is patient, kind, stronger than hate and anything in this world: love conquers all. All. Because Love and God are the same wonderful interchangeable word.
So, the question is, do we succumb to the world and the chaos that will eventually destroy it? Or do we let God’s love work through us and drawing on His Spirit to overcome? We do have a choice. That will never change.