Turning on the TV news nowadays is something of an act of courage.
A barrage of negative stories assaults our senses. Some we understand, some we don’t.
• A frustrating debate over our nation’s debt ceiling resulted in Standard and Poor’s downgrading our nation’s credit rating. That could be catastrophic — or it could mean nothing at all. No one is sure, but everyone is pointing fingers.
• The stock market is up and down like a yo-yo. We could be headed into a double-dip recession. European nations also are in fiscal peril. Several are in danger of defaulting on their loans.
• Ten years after 9/11, our nation remains at war. Our troops work tirelessly in Afghanistan and Iraq to defend our freedom. We want them home, but we don’t want to leave the Middle East vulnerable to future dictators and terrorists.
• More and more states approve of same-sex marriage. We struggle to find ways to voice our opposition while communicating Christ’s love for all mankind. We fear that we will be portrayed as bigots, closed-minded and out-of-touch with the times.
• A terrible famine is ravaging Africa. We feel helpless as we watch images of starving children and dying mothers. We want to help, but we feel that our humble contributions do little to ease global suffering.
“Uncertainty” is the common thread that ties the bad news together. As believers, we must take refuge in the one certain thing in the universe — God and his love.
Hebrews 6:19 reads, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” More than ever, it is imperative that we live out this hope.
Just as we did when the stock market crashed in 2008, we call believers to follow the teachings of James and “Consider it pure joy … when you face trials of many kinds.”
Uncertainty was the daily reality of Christians in the first century. They faced conflict and persecution at every turn, and had little earthly reason to hope that things would get better. But they had a hope that surpassed all earthly concerns.
So do we.
Though our country’s credit rating wavers, we will be the church, careful stewards of the gifts God has given us.
Though there will always be wars and rumors of wars, we will be the church, showing love to our soldiers and sharing the Gospel with all who will listen. That includes the Muslims who live down the street from us and those in the Middle East, studying the Bible in secret through the Internet.
Though we don’t agree with all states’ decisions, we will be the church, offering compassion and support for all of our fellow sinners.
And when the world suffers, we will be the church, sending food, water and aid to those in need — regardless of our financial situation.
In this age of uncertainty, we will point the way to the cross. We will be the church of Christ.