I have wondered: Do things seem bad because the media presents them as bad or are they bad because the media advertises them? Each morning and night I hear of a tragedy. Murder, rape, robberies, beating, stabbings, shootings, cruelty to animals and humans that seem inhuman begin each newscast.
The paper tells of an economy that is getting worse. The government is choosing "slot machine" solutions. They try another "coin" hoping that this one will win the jackpot. They are trying so many things to make things better that they won't know which one or ones of them actually helped. Politicians have panicked. Desperate people often do.
I suppose I don't need to join the media in telling you that things are bad for many people. Some of you reading this may not have it so bad. However, you must admit that there are those who are having the worst time of their lives. The equity is gone in their homes, their retirement accounts have dwindled to nothing and their jobs are either gone or shaky. They have no idea how they will pull out of this.
Yet, I am encouraged.
I never want people to go through bad times. I do not believe that God causes all bad times. I know that He disciplines His children at times. Those times are very specific. Most of the people going through the current bad times are doing so because people have been greedy and lacked prudent wisdom in making financial decisions. Cruelty comes from hearts that have been made dark with sin. Sin, not God, is the cause of cruelty.
The current cruelty and bad economic times make the world a much darker place. The Light that shines in this darkness will seem brighter than ever before because of this darkness. The opportunity we have of sharing our faith and the hope within us has never been more appealing. There is a greater chance that God's people will cry out to Him for deliverance than when we were safe and full of ourselves. God will hear us when we cry out. People will come to Him. He will heal our land.
God is not far from us. He never is. He has not forgotten us. He has not ceased His love for us. He has allowed us to act against Him. He has given us enough rope to hang ourselves. Yet, He is a loving Father who will bring us home. He will accept us when we come back to Him. His light shines brighter than ever before. His Son is the way to His heart. The message of Jesus is bright. The Light will never lose its brightness. It has never seemed more bright than now.
John 1:5 (ESV)
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.