Do you, like me, dread turning on the news? Bad news commands the air waves, but good news comes from a different source. When we place our trust in God alone, we find the hope that cannot be found in the things of this world. Let us begin this day by fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.
They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
Psalm 112:7 – NLT
“Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it.”
-From The Serenity Prayer
I’m disappointed. I look at the world around me, and I am distressed. Why does it have to be this way?
I don’t mean the landscape that stretches before me. I’m not talking about the wonders of creation. No, those works of God’s hands still send shivers of delight up my spine.
Right now though, other things make me shiver, and not in a good way. It’s not the flowers and trees that are the source of my distress. No, it’s the people.
I look around this world of ours and see the way humanity is behaving, and the pain strikes a blow in the center of my chest.
Why are we acting this way? Why is hate running rampant while love is in such short supply? Why do we hurt one another instead of helping? Why does it all feel so broken, so beyond repair?
In a word, sin. Yes, sin. Sin entered the world eons ago, and it hasn’t departed yet. At the core of the hatred on display, at the bottom of the depravity so evident, at the center of our selfish ways lies sin. Sin is what is wrong with this world. Sin and its bitter consequences are stealing our peace.
“Taking, this world as it is, not as I would have it.”
These pointed words from The Serenity Prayer follow “Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.” If peace can be found by accepting hardships, then peace also requires us to accept the world as it is, not as we would have it be.
That’s a hard thought to fathom, isn’t it? Everything in me wants to scream out against the suffering of the innocent. I want to help the hurting. I want to stop the pain. I want to end the greed, the corruption, the addiction, the animosity. I want to make this world perfect, full of love and joy and peace.
But that’s not where we are, at least not yet. I want heaven on earth, but that is not where heaven is. We are here in this sinful world for a finite amount of time. One day, we will go on to glory, and we will find the perfection we seek. But not here, not now.
Here, there is trouble. Here, there is hardship, and suffering, and loss. If we want to find the pathway to peace, we must accept the hardships, losses and imperfections of this world. We must see this life as it is, instead of yearning for all our troubles to float away.
It is what it is. Things will go wrong. Some people will do harm. Some will choose the wrong path. Does that mean that all is lost, that there is no hope? Absolutely not. Because we have Jesus, and He has overcome this fallen and sinful world. He achieved victory over death, and because we know Him, we can overcome too.
We can overcome the darkness by shining His light. We can heal the hurts by reaching out in love. We can do good even if others do bad. We can have hope for tomorrow because we know the One who holds tomorrow in His loving hands. We can know peace because that is His promise to us when we place our trust in Him.
Friends, I wish I could say it different, but it is what it is. Let us take this world as it is, but let us also put our trust in the One who created it and will redeem it in His perfect and due time. And until that day, let us find our peace in knowing Him.
O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:8 (NLT)
O King Jesus, You have overcome the world. You are our hope, our refuge, our ever-present help in times of trouble. Help us place our trust in You and leave it there, accepting this world as it is, even as we fix our eyes on the glory to come. While we are here, let us be instruments of Your peace, offering our gifts and talents, our hands and hearts to bring comfort and hope to a world that so needs Your light.
In the Everlasting Name of Jesus, we pray,