Being a Christian in a Hurting World
I went years avoiding the news. When I was younger I found it boring. As I grew into adulthood I found it frustrating. Now as a mother I sometimes find it heartbreaking.
For so long I preferred to stay sheltered in my little bubble. That bubble was comfortable. It was filled only with good things and good people. There I could bury my head in the sand. I could focus on those I loved and influence my piece of the earth.
Then I started studying His Word. The more I grow in my understanding of His plan the more I feel compelled to pay attention to what’s happening in this world. Sometimes it hurts to see it. Often it hurts to see it. But I will see it.
This world is suffering. I see it in the innocent blood spilled. I see it in the angry political and philosophical exchanges on television and in my own Facebook newsfeed. I see it in those who do not know God and instead seek answers from other people they deem wise. I see it in the well meaning Christians who do not know what our God asks of us because they do not open up their Bible.
So how should I respond as a woman who loves the Lord, my family, and my country?
Here is what I won’t do. I refuse to add to the confusion. That’s the temptation isn’t it? To be loud and puff up our chests. If that person is loud and angry then I should be too, right? This world loves confusion. It embraces confusion. It exhalts confusion. It rewards confusion. This world looks at confusion and says “let’s sell a lot of that”, “let’s give it a reality show”, “let’s make a movie about it”, and even “let’s preach it in our churches”. Sometimes its all dressed up as love and peace. Sometimes it uses eloquent speech. Sometimes it shows itself in violence and hate. It’s often hard to identify. That’s the point isn’t it? It’s supposed to be confusing.
This world loves confusion, but God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33).
This world is not my God. Other people are not my God. My feelings and your feelings are not my God. A religious leader is not my God. A politician or political party is not my God. My God is sufficient. He is everything I need. He provides all I need. I am satisfied and fulfilled through Him and Him alone.
Here is what I will do. I will put on the armor of God as we are instructed in Ephesians 6:13-20.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
We should girt our loins with truth. Where can we find truth? In another person? Politician? Church leader? Family? Friend? Media? All can have some truth. But all are also corruptible and flawed. Where do we find all truth in its purest form?
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Above all we should take the shield of faith. What is the shield of faith? In Genesis 15:1 we learn it is Jesus who appears to Abram in a vision (described as the word of the Lord). We learn here that we are to take Jesus Christ (our shield of faith) above all. It is He who quenches the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the written Word of God. The sword of the Spirit is also referenced in Revelations 1:16 and Hebrews 4:12. It is the Bible. Hebrews 4:12 says it is quick (accurately translated it should read living as Jesus Christ is the living Word of God), powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
So I will not be fearful for our hurting world. I will don the armor of God instead.
I will know Him. I will live Him. I will speak Him. There is nothing more powerful in a hurting world.
I will pray.
I will mourn with those who mourn.
I will reflect the light of God for those who cannot see.
I do not know what I will find on the news tomorrow. I do not know what the next day holds for those I love. But I know the One who holds those I love.
My prayer is that God’s will is done whatever it may be. He knows far better than we can ever hope to. I will have peace in that knowledge.