What on Earth is Going On?
Guest Author: Jeff A. Jenkins Why is there so much violence in our world? Why do we have to see wickedness, sin, and destruction? It seems like there is strife and contention all around us. Doesn’t anybody care about laws anymore? And what about justice in our world? It seems like justice is not upheld but rather is perverted. Why does it seems like wickedness is winning???
Questions like these are in the conscience of our nation. The blogosphere, Twitter, Facebook, podcasts, and the news are all saturated with these very thoughts. However, the questions raised here are not from the news or a blog. They were asked by one of God’s men more than 2,500 years ago.
When you read these words from Habakkuk, you would think that he’s been reading our mail (or our blogs, or our news)! You would think he is writing about modern day America. Like many today, this man of God is crying out to the Heavens, “Do You hear my prayers, why won’t You answer?” He wonders aloud if God knows what is going on in the world. He wonders if God cares, and he cries to God, “Why aren’t You doing something about this mess?”
What is the violence, wickedness, sin, destruction, strife, contention, disobedience, and injustice he is concerned so much about? Could the injustice be some form of class or racial injustice? Could the strife be racial tension? Could the violence be people taking the law into their own hands? Could it be people rioting in the streets because they feel they aren’t being heard? Could the sin be people who don’t like the laws of God, so they rewrite what He has said, or simply claim that it doesn’t apply to them? Could his statement about wickedness winning be based upon the feeling that his world had relegated God and His Word to a bit player on the world stage?
There is much about what was going on in Habakkuk’s world that we cannot be certain about. There is much about what is taking place in our world that we can’t understand, comprehend, or figure out. Our collective hearts are broken, our nation is troubled, and we are hurting. So what do we do? Like God’s man from long ago, we cry out to our Father, we seek His help, His guidance, His answers. We wonder if there is anything we can do and should be doing?
Many believe that the answer to this is dialogue. Let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about the racial problems in our world. Let’s discuss injustices. Let’s get together and discuss what we should do about church issues (fill in the blank here with numerous concerns). Let’s have a conversation.
This may be a great starting point. One thing we can know for certain is that trying to hide under a rock and act like these problems don’t exist will not make them go away. It doesn’t help to refuse to talk. So, let’s talk. Let’s have conversations. But let’s be sure that we are not naive enough to think that our conversations are going to cure the world’s ills. Let’s not think that, if we can just get together and discuss problems in the church, we will fix them!
The most basic reason that this alone will not work is because we are humans, and we come to the table with preconceived ideas and answers. Each person believes that s/he knows what is needed. But we should not allow that to deter us. We can work diligently to make the world around us a better place. Let’s do something, anything! Let’s work to find solutions and then let’s work the solutions!
And DO the right thing. Another man of God said, “Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the LORD requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) Did you catch that? “Act justly,” do what is right, don’t just talk about doing right, act on what you know.
Let’s just be real honest for a moment. The truth is we can’t fix this world. We can’t solve the problems. We can’t correct injustice. We can’t end violence. We can’t stop people who choose to ignore the Word of God. We can’t make people do the right thing! Not the government, not the media, not preachers, not the church, not any of us, or all of us!
We are helpless and hopeless and useless without Jesus. All the conferences, conversations, plans, programs, agendas, money, ideologies, work, religious activity, and the collective wisdom in the entire world is meaningless if we don’t bring Christ, as well as His Word, to the table. Jesus is the only answer. The Good News about Him will make a difference.
The best thing we can do for our world is to keep sharing the Gospel. Keep showing what it means to have the Prince of Peace in our life by what we do for others. Keep glorifying God by the way we live. Keep praying that our world will turn to Him. Keep allowing our heart to be permeated with kindness, love, and compassion for every person.
And one more thought. Above all, above all, don’t give up on God! Remember Habakkuk? God did hear His cries. God was looking down on the world and He was very aware of what was going on. God was doing something. Listen to His Words. “Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days— You would not believe if you were told” (Hab. 1:5).
We have no idea what God is doing in our nation, in our world, and in the Church. He may well be working in our lives. He may be working in you to make a difference in the world or the life of the Church. He may be raising up someone or many someones right now who will be strong enough and brave enough to be used for His Glory.
So, don’t give up on God. Keep praying. Keep crying out to Him. Keep talking. Keep sharing the Good News with others. Keep doing the right thing. Keep trusting in our Lord.
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