Would you agree with me that we live in turbulent, troubled times? Every few weeks we hear about people being murdered, either because of their race or religion. We hear about supposed man-made climate change. About a looming economic crisis. About all kinds of injustices around the world. We worry about the direction our culture is going. I could go on, but I don’t think I need to. If you are at all aware of national or world events, it’s impossible to be unaware of the plight of mankind.
The apostle Paul lived in turbulent times, too. And he bore the scars to prove it.
But through it all, he was led by the Holy Spirit to write these words in chapter 4, verses 6-8: Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.
Friend, the fact that there are problems in the world is not new. We live in a fallen world that is suffering the effects of sin. It was true in Paul’s time. It is true in our time. But we are called to take our concerns to God in prayer and leave them in His more-than-capable hands. And then, we are to stop focussing on the bad, and look for the good.
How can we, with any degree of authenticity, share the Good News of Jesus if we are constantly stressed out about the troubles of the world? If our life doesn’t radiate the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, why should anyone choose to follow Christ? How can we say, “Follow Jesus. Be like me?”
If you find yourself getting worked up about current events, stop listening to political talk radio. Stop watching political TV. Quit arguing on Facebook. The problems in the world are not new, and your getting all worked up about them will not change them. As a student of the Bible, you should know that problems will be a part of man’s existence until the Lord returns.
Do you want to help your fellow man? You can make an eternal difference in the lives of men and women by introducing them to the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Only He can sort out the problems in the world. And only those whose faith is in Him will experience the peace every person seeks.
Our time on earth is short. Eternity is forever, and it awaits us all. Keep your eyes fixed on the prize that Jesus bought for those who choose to follow him.