Trust in the Lord and Do Good

  I enjoy listening to “In The Market” on Moody Radio. Janet Parshall, host of the daily broadcast, deals with current issues and how we, as Christians, should respond.  She doesn’t shy away from tackling tough, controversial topics. As Janet says, with all the turmoil, evil, and craziness in our world today, the U.S.A. included, it would be easy, as a believer, to just “pull the covers up over our head and try to ignore it all.”  This past fall in the United States we have witnessed numerous tragic shootings, and unbelievably sickening treatment of Brett Kavanaugh during the hearings to confirm him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. And then came the campaigning for the mid-term elections with all the heated rhetoric and mud-slinging. Even after the election, the turmoil continued with recounts and charges of voter fraud and candidates unwilling to accept defeat. It is sickening and disheartening to see the depths to which this “great nation” has sunken in such a short time. We listened to a special Moody radio program at Thanksgiving about the Pilgrims and the beginnings of our nation and how the emphasis was on freedom to worship and serve God and proclaim His Good News of love and forgiveness. Our first universities were established as places to be trained in God’s Word to be able to teach it to others. My how far we have strayed in our short history.
     I’m sure you too have been struck by how very sinful the times are in which we live. Sin and the war it wages against mankind is everywhere. You can’t visit an online news source, turn on the television, or tune in to your favorite radio station without being reminded of the wickedness of our day. It has penetrated every level of our society. And the problem isn’t unique to our country. It is universal.
     As believers in Jesus Christ, we love what He loves and hate what He hates. We love righteousness, justice, truth, peace and holiness. So, we are grieved by sin and its awful effects that so dominate the culture around us. We long for justice and for things to be set right. We want to see the lies and deceit exposed for what they are and long to see God and His Word exalted and sin judged.  We can surely identify with John the Apostle’s closing benediction of the final book of Scripture: “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20).  And, it is tempting to want to “pull up the covers” and just stay there till Jesus returns to make things right.
     And we are not the first ones to feel that way. Ever since sin took place in the Garden of Eden, believers have longed for evil and wickedness to be judged and for justice to rule.  It is easy to have the attitude that “being good doesn’t pay,” for we see how many seem to prosper in their evil scheming and not get caught or punished. Even if their wickedness is exposed, nothing is done about it. the Psalmist was obviously bothered by this as well, as we have a number of the Psalms we refer to as “imprecatory” Psalms which cried out for God to judge those who were working against His plans and purposes and making life difficult for those who followed God’s commands. But, inspired by God, David wrote: “Do not fret because of evil-doers. Be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass, and fade like the green herb. (You continue to ) Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust also in Him, and He will do it. And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noon day. Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him. Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret, it leads only to evil doing. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked will be no more…but the humble will inherit the land, and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity” (Psa. 37: 1-11).
     It is important that we view our current culture with an eternal perspective and not become “weary in well doing” (Gal. 6:9) and just wait for the Lord to come and take us out of here. We can trust that one day soon “The Lord will come who will bring to light the things hidden in darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts” (I Cor. 4:5). But meanwhile, we are to continue doing good, and dwelling in the land and cultivating faithfulness. We are not helpless bystanders in a world gone amuck, but have at our disposal  the most powerful, life-changing weapon to fight corruption and evil in the world, one that is not dependent upon a particular political party or piece of legislation. It is the Word of God which alone reveals the means of ultimate deliverance from sin and judgment. It is the only means the Holy Spirit uses to bring people into a right relationship with God and change them from the inside out. In this world of “bad news” we have the “Good News” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Ro. 1:16).  The gospel alone has the power to save souls from Satan’s kingdom of lies and deceit, wickedness, and death, and to bring them into the glorious kingdom of God. In a depraved, perishing world, God continues to gather a people for His eternal glory—to praise, serve, and enjoy Him forever, and we have the privilege, and responsibility of sharing that “Good News” in a world that desperately needs it. Jesus said “I will build My church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:18).  Since “gates” were used for defense, it implies that the church (we believers) are to be on the “offensive,” taking the Gospel to the remotest parts of the earth, which includes not only the neighbor next door, but also the countries “closed” to Christianity.
     So, don’t go into hiding, waiting for this all to end and Jesus to get you out of here. We are to continue being “salt and light” (Mt. 5:14-16), and the more corrupt and darker it becomes, the more we need to “show up.” After all we are Christ’s Ambassadors on earth with the privilege of representing Him to others so they might be reconciled to God (II Cor. 5:18-20). This is the “season of lights”–Hanukah and Christmas. Make sure your “light” is also shining!”
                Forever His,
                        Pastor Dave
    
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About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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