March 28, 2014
Living in a World Gone Wrong
"Why, LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?" Psalm 10:1 (NIV)
By the time I returned home that night, I was so agitated that sleep was impossible.
I had travelled six hours by car and made the mistake of listening to news channels rather than my usual Christian music station. Throughout the drive, I became increasingly frustrated and irritated, as I heard one bad news story after another. My mind was spinning with thoughts, and my heart filled with emotions.
The strongest emotion by far was sadness at the stark reality of our world gone terribly wrong.
Stories of abuse, death, disaster, political corruption and a general lack of integrity are everywhere. At times it seems the voices and desires of those who are against God's ways shout louder than those who love Him and promote His ways. It frustrates me that things are getting worse instead of better.
Driving down the interstate with my mind full of mental clutter, my heart felt heavy. I wondered what God's answer might be if I could ask Him, "God, what in the world is going on in this world? And when are You going to take action?"
In Psalm 10, David expressed this same type of frustration and confusion. He asked the Lord why it appeared He wasn't doing anything about the wickedness of the world, or taking control of the cruelty, violence and injustices that ran rampant through their corrupt society. He questioned why wicked people were allowed to get away with their wrongdoings.
David wanted to know when God was going to step in and do something. Anything. David prayed with a desperate heart, begging God's intervention.
Maybe you have felt that way too. Maybe you are struggling with difficult circumstances, and you feel as if God is standing far away, not intervening with help. Maybe you have struggled while walking in God's ways, while others with less-than-godly motives succeed. Or maybe you too are frustrated with the direction our world seems to be headed.
This is how David felt as well, but in Psalm 10:16-18a, we see his tone change from frustration to hope when he says, "The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed ..." (NIV). David took comfort in remembering and believing that God was with him, and in due time, He would prevail.
In prayer, David voiced his deepest fears and honest feelings. He solicited God's wisdom for greater understanding, yet surrendered to trusting that God sees all, knows all and would handle it all when the time was right.
Our world has gone wrong due to the existence of sin, but we have a choice in how we respond. Instead of letting despair pull us further from God, or cause us to doubt His goodness, we can choose to lean on our faith and draw closer to Him instead, just like David.
Let's choose to proclaim God's sovereignty today, trust in His ways and be a voice for His truths even when the ways of this world break our hearts.
Lord, help me remember that You are in control, no matter how out of control this world seems. Give me the desire to stay grounded in You no matter what I see on the news, or what challenges I personally face, and to trust You wholeheartedly. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Find life-changing and heart-renewing remedies that will bring peace when things feel out of control in Stressed-Less Living: Finding God's Peace in Your Chaotic World by Tracie Miles.
Visit Tracie's blog for a list of verses to tuck into your heart to help you stay focused on God's goodness and presence in times of trouble.
Reflect and Respond:
Do I feel forgotten or overlooked by God, or do I doubt His sovereignty over this world?
Read Psalms 9, 10 and 11. Consider how your life and the world we live in mirrors much of what David describes. Ask God to speak to you through these scriptures and fill you with comfort and hope regarding our world and the situations you face in your personal life.
Proverbs 21:2, "A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart." (NIV)
Ephesians 6:13, "Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet." (MSG)
© 2014 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.
Originally published Friday, 28 March 2014.