Friday, July 21, 2006

Bright Hope for Tomorrow

I seldom write things of a devotional nature, although I am often greatly blessed by the devotional ministries of others. My usual writing ranges from the apologetic, to the polemic, to the analytic, to the journalistic, and to the teachic (That's obviously not a word. I just made it up to keep the rhythm going. I must be watching Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson too much).

Having said all that, I would like to offer a brief think-piece/devotional thought at the outset of the weekend - a thought framed by a sunrise shot taken from the balcony of the Cliff House Inn near Jasper, Arkansas. The photo really captures the idea of what I want to say.

The news from Israel is deeply troubling to those of us praying for the peace of Jerusalem. To see the bulk of world opinion sympathizing with terrorists and condemning Israel's self-defense boggles the mind. But God isn't taken by surprise and all of this is working out exactly as He purposed. This region of the world will be history's denouement, and these are just the birth pangs. It won't be pretty in the short term, but I've read the back of the book. God is sovereign and His purpose will be established no matter what governments decide or how many terrorist thugs throw missile and Semtex parties.

The news from Indonesia where another tsunami killed hundreds and laid 100 miles of shoreline waste is horribly tragic. But in the midst of the death and destruction, the people of God are on the scene showing Christ's love by their actions - actions largely unheralded by the news media. They don't need a government's permission or provision to do it, either. The darkest tragedies often lead to the greatest opportunities for hope, love and healing.

Here in America where things are comparitively calm, we have enough crises to dominate the news each night. A killer goes to the electric chair in Virginia . . . a multi-million dollar drainage control project gets held up by a federal judge worried about a woodpecker that might be extinct . . . churches are being split across the nation due to false doctrine being promulgated . . . the political mood gets more and more venomous . . . some think an economic crash looms on the horizon . . . gasoline prices cause a domino effect of problems from travel costs down to the cost of a loaf of bread at the grocery store...death..murders...drug abuse...alcoholism....depression....suicide....the litany never ends. If that was all there was, it is easy to see why one could despair of hope and even life.

But that's not all there is. With every dark cloud, there is also a beam of light peering through. With every tragedy, there is also a joy. If we can just learn to see it. We don't have to make it up, either. Here's how God's Word puts it:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:8-9)

This isn't being Pollyanna. It's the best psychology I've ever read or known in my life, and believe me, I've been exposed to plenty of it. I recognize and see the bad, but know that the good overcomes. Always.

Take that thought with you this weekend, and be encouraged. He has overcome the world, and so can we.

1 comment:

crownring said...

Thank you, Sola! :)