Have you watched world events in the past month? Have you seen what’s going on? Are you at times left virtually perplexed? It’s like every day, there is a new story, a new narrative, a new twist. Then, there are the acts that make us stand still in our tracks, like what occurred last night in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the present moment, there are 59 casualties and over 500 injured in what is now the most violent, horrific act conducted in modern U.S. history. Families are devastated. People’s lives will never be the same again.
This comes on the heels of catastrophic hurricanes that have ravaged Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, parts of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas, Florida, and Louisiana. We see the pictures and hear the reports daily, in real time.
In the NT, Jesus is recorded as stating: “In the world, you will have trouble…” It’s very much open ended and doesn’t identify a particular “kind” or “type” of trouble. Jesus is just clear it’s going to happen. It will happen to people, to communities, to regions, and to nations. He doesn’t say you “might” or “could” have trouble – He states “you will.” There is not anyone who is spared – not even His own followers. All of this goes back to the Garden of Eden and what happened there. The decision to disobey God brought forth a world that is simply consumed with rebellion, sin, and wickedness. Yes, there is trouble all around.
The Good News…The Great News…is that Jesus didn’t end the statement there. Praise God He went on: “In the world, you will have trouble…but be cheerful, for I have overcome the world.” [John 16, v.33] He has overcome all the evils, all the ugliness, all the wrongs that this world has within it. In short, He is victorious over all of it.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of the authentic Christian is that our hope is not found in this world. Our hope is in the next one. It doesn’t mean we have given up or that we don’t follow His command to go “into all the world,” (see Matthew 28) – it just means that our hope goes beyond this place to the next. For the Christ-follower, our hope is not temporary; it is eternal.
So I ask you: What, or Who, have you placed your hope in? Mine resides within Jesus Christ Himself…the Hope of the world. To those who believe in Him, who have received Him, and who have made Him Lord, He states: “Come to Me, all who are burdened and heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11, v.28). It is a passage we have great hope in, and in times like these, we find comfort in this promise. The reality is: We can do little to prevent disaster from striking, but we can be certain of the One Who we can turn to. His grace is sufficient, always.
In deep, steadfast prayer,