For fearful saints ~ Ye fearful saints…
I know, I know. If we put our current world situation side-by-side with so many other eras in world history, we don’t have it that bad. Bombs aren’t dropping on our cities and leveling entire blocks, half of our nations’ populations aren’t dying from plague, we don’t have one entire civilization wiping out another entire population.
But we do seem to be on the brink, don’t we? You don’t need me to list all the ominous, evil, and deadly events in the world. Check any newsfeed. A trip to the mall, a dinner at a restaurant, a night at a concert can end in violence and death.
I so easily fall into fear. What kind of world will my grandchildren inherit? Evil is called good. Good is just a relative term. Millions and millions of people consider Christianity to be passé, irrelevant, an anachronism of a previous age.
God either is a myth, a ineffective weakling, or uninterested. Not worthy of a second thought.
Such is the wisdom of the world.
“God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform.
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
and rides upon the storm.” *
Why does the good seem so weak?
Why does wrong seem so strong?
We can’t grasp the logic here. Had God abandoned us?
Wait a little moment.
Remember what power sanctioned the death of Christ and who slaughtered Christians in the early church?
Rome. The Rome where, not many years after Christ’s ascension, the blood of martyrs would water the seeds of Christianity.
The Vikings who pillaged villages and monasteries and hacked entire families to pieces—they responded to the Gospel and turned from slaughter to salvation.
The Vandals, Goths and Huns—barbarians—who sacked Rome would all come under the influence of Christianity.
China. You know—that “godless” nation whose borders were closed and whose citizens had atheism stuffed down their throats. When foreigners were finally allowed back into the vast country they were shocked to find a vibrant church, honoring God in the face of persecution.
God took impossible situations, foes filled with bloodlust, and turned them, because “He treasures up His bright designs and works His sovereign will.” *
No matter what your views are politically on how evil should be addressed, remember that kings, Congresses or even terrorists don’t have the last word or ultimate power.
A couple of hundred years after “God Moves in a Mysterious Way” was published, a Christian group called The Newsboys, encourages young believers to not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.
“…when the stones get thrown
They either miss or
They turn to glory.” **
On a personal level, we can’t lose. God will either sustain us here or take us to Himself. On a global level, we can’t lose. Our King demonstrates that “behind a frowning Providence He hides a smiling face.”
These are frightening times and sometimes our fears seem to overwhelm us. Thank God, even our fears don’t disqualify us from salvation, They should just drive us to the all-powerful and all-loving One.
“Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
the clouds ye so much dread,
are big with mercy and shall break
in blessings on your head.” *
* From “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”
(William Cowper, 1774)
** From “Step up to the Microphone” (Peter Furler; Jeffery Frankenstein; Philip Joel, 1998)