I received your letter yesterday and yes, I am also disturbed by a world that seems to have lost it’s mind! But, we shouldn’t be surprised, we were told that this is exactly what would happen. Peter told us “don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you”.
Paul also did an awesome job putting things into perspective when he wrote the church in Rome…
"God's angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
So God said, in effect, 'If that's what you want, that's what you get.' It wasn't long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!
Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn't know how to be human either—women didn't know how to be women, men didn't know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.
Since they didn't bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. And it's not as if they don't know better. They know perfectly well they're spitting in God's face. And they don't care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!"
But knowing that the world would come to this doesn’t always make it easy to accept for those who are born of God’s Spirit. We know better and are not deceived by lies, no matter how well dressed they may be. And I know it is frustrating, but we were told to hang in there; not to stoop to their level.
As hard as it is to actually do it, we need to do what we were told to do in these troubling times. We need to trust God just as the early Christians did. In fact if you stop and think about it, they had it much worse in my personal opinion!
Imagine having your family rounded up, arrested and thrown into a sports stadium to be executed for sport. Imagine looking your young daughter in the eyes and having to deal with the reality telling her “No, sweetheart, things aren’t going to be alright. They will be in a short while when we see our Father in heaven, but this is going to be very terrible.” I can’t imagine doing that, but they did it. They trusted God and actually did what they were told to do. They refused to deny their faith, and make no mistake that is all that was required in order for them to avoid their entire family being murdered like animals.
I have to remind myself of that you know. I get so angry and upset when I see this mad, mad world losing it’s mind. I just want to grab it by the shoulders and shake it awake! But God is in control. He is control of every atom in the universe and honestly doesn’t need us to step in and do it our way because he can’t handle it.
Personally, my way of coping with the madness of life in 21st century America is to spend more time doing the things that I have neglected to do in simpler times. Things like getting involved in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and visiting those in prison. When I take my eyes off the world and focus on the things that I should have being doing all along, I get peace. It’s not just a feeling, although I do feel it, it’s more like a deep and inner sense of knowledge. It’s one thing to know something is true; but another all together to know something is true and to be part of that truth. It’s difficult to explain, but it is certainly how I feel.
I’m off to the nightshift in an hour or so, so it’s time to wrap this letter up and get ready for work. Be strong my friend. Have faith, pray that you are able to put things into perspective, but most of all be a doer of those things which you are certain that God has called on you to do. Allow Him to prepare you for what is in store for you, and to do this you must obey Him regardless of what the world looks like to human eyes.