“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night (Psalm 63:3-6).”
It’s hard not to notice. The world is a chaotic place. Is it any wonder many of us worry and suffer sleepless nights?
We westerners all know about Middle East conflicts, massive oil spills and the impact of illegal drugs on our society. I suppose it’s whose newspaper you read which determines how much you know aboout the conflicts around the world.
One news website has an interactive section on “forgotten” conflicts around the world. They range from an ongoing civil war in Sri Lanka to a number of confrontations across Africa. One of these wars not thought of much in the west is in our news today because some Maoist rebels derailed a train in India and killed scores of people.
All the way down to the family level, the human condition is one of upset, discord and confusion. In our own home, my wife and I had a restless time last night over some of our own concerns. At least we prayed together over them before we set out on our day.
The problems of families, peoples, and nations should not be a surpise. Mankind has been in the moral depths for ages. As a result, we are like the squirrel I saw in my way as I drove down my street this morning: we are frantically going helter-skelter, backwards and forwards trying to get out of the way of the calamity coming our way.
One of the friends of Job reminded the miserable ancient patriarch,” For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground. Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward (Job 5:6,7).” For a long time, men have been the cause of their own problems.
Even as godly a man as Abraham, who followed Job, had trouble in his family. The descendants of his son Ishmael are said by the Scriptures to have “lived in hostility toward all their brothers (Genesis 25:18b)” His twin grandsons actually fought with each other while they were still in the womb (Genesis 25:21-23)”!
I read one story from South Asia last night which incorporates a belief that colic in a baby is a symptom of two reincarnated souls fighting for the child’s body. This battle begins in the womb and continues on at birth until one soul wins. If neither soul is victorious, the belief is that the person will evidence symptoms of mental illness, even insanity.
Well, you can’t blame a person for trying. Belief systems must explain this ongoing battle between people, or mankind will go insane! There’s already too much deranged behavior in the world already.
There is an explanation, a true one. The Bible gives the most plausible reason for our world’s woes. It says we are a fallen race (Romans 3:23). The Scriptures tell us we fight with one another because we are inherently selfish at birth and reject God’s intervention as well (James 4:1-3).
There are conflicts between people and nations because there is truly a battle going on for our souls. In one instance, we are self destructive in our own selfishness (I Peter 2:11). In another case, their is an evil angelic being called Satan seeking to eat up our souls as well (I Peter 5:8).
Jesus Himself said we would have trouble in this world, but He also told His followers to be encouraged because He had overcome this fallen planet (John 16:33). He also told them to not let their own hearts be troubled, but to trust in God (John 14:1).
The apostle Paul added that the followers of Christ will reap an eternal reward down the line. We will experience the beauty and splendor of eternity with our God. We will think our troubles are light and worth suffering if we focus on what awaits us in heaven (II Corinthians 4:17).
Knowing what Jesus and the Bible have told me, the next time I’m tossing and turning, I’m gonna muse on the endless fellowship with Him and the magnificence I will participate in up there, not on the worries, battles, pains and turbulence I am experiencing down here!