The world is a scary place these days. Most of my friends and family have an impending sense of doom because evil is running rampant all around us. From horrific terrorist attacks to government corruption, and even a common complacency wherein people just “accept” crime.
It can be overwhelming at times, and if you look at the rise of suicide rates, there is tangible evidence of a world gone mad. Many people have lost hope.
My goal today is to offer you hope in a dark world. Darkness, they say, is the absence of light. My point is simple. You need the light. That light is Jesus Christ!
Before you rush to click off this post, please consider:
Most (in my experience) people who have very strong feelings about not needing Jesus have been personally hurt very deeply by the church or a misguided Christian. I can attest to that, having been one myself. Those who have considered Christianity but have chosen another path are not as vehement when it comes to rejecting the idea of an Almighty and Eternal God.
As a child, I fully accepted and loved Jesus. I actually wanted to be a nun, so I could be the bride of Christ. As I approached the age of reason, I began to feel uncomfortable with what I perceived to be hypocrisy in the practice of what was being taught. When I was 14, I saw religious artifacts covered in pagan symbols, and it about made me sick.
I thought if this is God, who needs Him? A hypocritical, judgmental being just waiting for me to slip, and sin, but that was worshiped using idols, just did not click for me. I began to learn of clergy doing unthinkable acts to children, and my rejection solidified. You see, in my mind, the church and God were one. If the church was so awful, certainly the God they wanted me to worship was as well.
I turned my back on God and began seeking truth anywhere I could think of to try. I studied world religions, and found value in all of them, but not enough to satisfy a deep longing in my heart. I turned to nature, the awesomeness of creation thrilled me, and I learned a lot by studying how perfectly the natural world functioned. I kept wondering how such detailed and intricate ecology could have been an accident of the cosmos.
The Big Bang was all the rage and scientists everywhere were pushing the theory strongly. I accepted it, but I kept thinking logically that this sort of perfection does not just happen. It was easier not to think about it, and just go with the flow.
I denounced God frequently and mocked His existence, and I felt justified in it. It was not until I hit a very low point in my life that I found Jesus. Our family suffered through two suicides with one month of each other, and I found myself crying out to God, condemning Him for allowing such suffering.
It was in that rage that I saw hope in the 23rd Psalm. A friend invited me to her church, and hesitantly I accepted. Guess what we read in church that day: The 23rd Psalm. I did not have a Bible but I recited it by heart. My heart moved in the process and tears flowed down my face. I could feel a rush of love flow through me, so powerful I cannot find words to explain it.
Despite my years of anger and turning away from Him, God had never forsaken me. My rage driven conversation, it seems, was okay with Him. He knew my pain. He understood my confusion and rejection of the religion in which I had been raised. He showed me how the lowest points in my life had ultimately led me to incredible growth, better jobs, and more. I realized God had been holding me, protecting me all those years I had been so angry with Him.
Is that your experience? Has your spirit been broken by events or religions that misinterpreted Jesus? I encourage you to read the Bible, and study the words our Savior spoke, and the actions, love and compassion he exhibited while on earth. Do not be intimidated by antiquated language or seemingly incomprehensible ideas. There are so many translations available; you can certainly find one you can relate to.
If you do not know where to start, try the book of John. Read Jesus’ own words and teachings and then decide if He was the greatest liar of all time, or if perhaps what He spoke was truth. Perhaps all the people who suffered and martyred just did to perpetuate the lie that Jesus had risen from the dead. You cannot decide without knowing the facts.
Religions may mean well, but most have rituals or obligations one must fulfill for salvation.
Jesus is our salvation! He died, and rose from the grave to atone for the sins of all humanity. All He asks is that you believe that He made this sacrifice for you, and in turn, He asks you to get to know Him.
When you do, you will continue to grow closer to Jesus throughout your lifetime. Many Christians have not matured enough to know when to keep quiet. In their exuberance for Christ, they come on too strong or in a judgmental way. Forgive them, as Jesus taught us. Love them, and everyone around you, even when they are difficult to like.
Is it easy? Not always, but it gets easier as you grow closer to Jesus. Are Christians perfect? Heck NO! We are all sinners saved by the grace of God and the blood of Jesus. Any Christian who proclaims to be holier-than-thou is a liar, and needs to study more.
In this time of trouble, and the dark days to follow, Jesus offers real hope and joy in a terrifying world. Evil exists, and if you are not equipped to fight it, you will consumed by it. I do not have the power, but my Savior does.
I have read the book and I know how it is going to end. Tribulation is coming, if it is not already here. Drug addiction, stabbings and shootings on a regular basis, child trafficking, terror, war, famine, earthquakes and drought are all very present in our world today. Unsettling is an understatement as to the climate around us.
If you need hope, if you need some assurance in these troubling times, look to Jesus. He will be there, if you simply ask Him to come into your heart. No sin is too great to be forgiven; no path has been so poorly trod that He cannot lift you up. Find a Bible based church to learn about Him and grow closer. Build a relationship and change your life before it is too late.
No one knows when the world as we know it will end, but end it will. Jesus is the way, the truth and the light you need in these dark days.