I remember the first time that I needed to wear glasses! I was seventeen at the time. I sat at the back of the class unable to read the writing on the board. It was only when I started wearing glasses that the world around me came into focus. I was able to engage in learning! (I include a picture of this very ordinary person (!) who needs glasses to see clearly)
When we consider the current world crises such as malnutrition in north-eastern Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, the war and refugee crisis in Ukraine, and Afghanistan, the often forgotten abortion, holocaust, sex slavery, the problems of pornography and gambling, we can easily feel overwhelmed. There are so many more issues I could mention, but how do we stay focused on what God is calling us to do and be in the midst of these forces of evil?
We need to remember that God is sovereign (in control) over every situation in the world even over suffering. He is also sovereign over all nations.
When Job is afflicted, God is in control. When Joseph is sold into slavery, God is in control. When religious leaders and Roman officials sentence Jesus to death and crucify him on a cross, God is still in control. Death itself has no power over Jesus. He is now seated on a throne at the right hand of our heavenly Father.
One day, every knee will bow to the name of Jesus and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. (Philippians 2:1-11).
In the book of Revelation, Jesus says to the church in Philadelphia, that if they are faithful, they will be ‘pillars in the temple of my God’ and will ‘never again leave it’. Jesus says I am your security, I am your unshakable foundation. (Revelation 3:12). As Johnson reminds us in his excellent book Discipleship On The Edge’, however things appear to us on earth, (our perspective) they are not what they seem when viewed from a heavenly perspective. “Look’, says John, ‘the door into heaven is opened,” ‘And look! A throne.’
How should we respond as Christians?
- Trust in God. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
- Allow His Holy Spirit to speak to us through his word the Bible. ‘Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light to my path.’ (Psalm 119:105)
- Pray for the many needs and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in our prayers. Where we feel unable, speak in tongues. A group of us in the church have been encouraging ones another to do this). (Romans 8:26-27)
- That many refugees in Ukraine would receive the help needed in integrating into a new culture, have adequate access to housing, food and clothing and that they would have opportunities to work, where possible.
- That many poor people in the UK would be protected against the rise in energy and fuel prices due this April.
- For justice and compensation for the appalling sacking of the P&O ferry workers.
(1) Discipleship on the Edge, An exposition journey through the Book of Revelation, Chapter 10. By Darrell W. Johnson.
22 Mar 2022