The new year is upon us and we can only wonder what 2010 will bring. Last year at this time, the nation welcomed a new president. There was optimism and hope that a new man with new ideas will finally be an answer. It’s a year later, and people are already questioning his ideas and his leadership. Was the general public too optimistic? We’re they expecting too much? More importantly, based on what we read from the Bible, how should a Christian respond?
Throughout 2009, there were many events in our nation and our world that ought to cause each person some concern and alarm. The rising influx of terrorism, the economic downturns, and the noticeable rise of secularism within American borders causes concern for most Christians. History records and is backed up by Old Testament records of the ancient Israelites, that when a nation turns its back on God, God in turn will allow a nation to go its own way. And what happens? A dissolution and scattering of a nation. Europe has turned its back on God and there is a quite invasion of Islam that is a generation away from achieving dominance. America is starting to turn away from God and is a generation away from being a dominant world power. How should a Christian respond.
I like what Marvin Olasky of WORLD Magazine wrote in the latest issue. He alludes to Jeremiah 8 as two wrong ways for a Chrisitan to respond. False Optimism says “peace, peace” when there is no peace — it keeps us from seeking healing. On the other hand, it is wrong to say, “We are doomed to perish as punishment from God!” Fatalism keeps us from asking for mercy and repentance.
A Christian response is that when we turn away from fatalism or false optimism, we are in a sense, turning to God. And He will deliver. We don’t place our trust on things of this world. We don’t place our trust in horses, castles and kings as the Bible states. But, we place our trust in the Lord Almighty, who delivers and endures forever. This is not to say that bad things will not happen. There could be a time of suffering. And that’s okay. Because the Bible says that we can still rejoice in our sufferings because of the great benefits that suffering can produce — repentance, endurance, character and hope. Those are the treasures of heaven that Jesus alludes to, not treasures that earth provides.
A proper, Biblical response for Christians this year is to not worry, and place our full trust in the Lord. Have a willing and sincere heart to following Him and His way — not matter what. Take each day at a time, for tomorrow has enough concerns and worries of its own. And ask the Lord to create a new heart within us — so that the joy of our salvation is renewed. Then, and only then, can we tackle this world, and all its challenges, with an attitude of praise.