Lessons,  Spiritual Growth,  Test,  Trial,  Unity

The World We Live In

I’ve watched from a distance the culture of anger we see all around us today. Painful as that is, seeing it in the community where I live brings it close to home and breaks my heart. Especially when Christians are angry and violent for a “christian” reason. Seeking justice, but in an un-Christlike manner. A hateful and even threatening manner.

But it’s a picture of what we’ve all witnessed across the nation. A hint of truth, a huge dose of untruth, then attacks on social media platforms that are aimed at destroying people. Watching attacks on people they don’t know at all. They believe lies they see or hear from someone who told someone who told someone about someone they do not know personally. Anger and bomb scares, and even death threats, over things far from the truth.

How is this right? When is evil and hatred ever right for Christ’s namesake? 

Then, I think, I too have believed half truths about others I do not know. Why didn’t I give them the benefit of the doubt and get to know them without judging them? Lord, forgive me. I also, at times, want to respond in defense and seek vindication, or even revenge. 

As I’ve been processing all this happening in my local community, “it just so happens” I’ve been reading Genesis. Two verses stood out to me especially in light of all this. One is the patriarch Joseph’s response to his brother’s selling him into slavery out of jealousy. 

Years later Joseph said to them:

Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people.

Genesis 50:19-20

God can use even this kind of ugly situation and bring about His great glory. Then I opened Exodus and read this:

The more they oppressed them, the more they multiplied and spread so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.”

Exodus 1:12

We know that Christians will be persecuted. Jesus tells His followers in the Sermon on the Mount to expect persecution: 

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. You are blessed when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Matthew 5:10-12

For more on persecution as the end times approach just read Revelation! 

So, as we experience persecution we get to choose how to respond. It will happen, that’s for sure, but we do not have to react with violence and hatred, we can respond with love and prayer. We can trust God to vindicate the situation, on earth perhaps, but certainly in eternity. 

Banner photo by Alexandra Mirgheș on Unsplash

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