2017 has been an interesting year, and a bit of a rough one for a lot of people. Hurricanes off the coast have destroyed homes and displaced countless people; Mexico saw it’s most powerful earthquake in decades; the north west has been ravaged by some of the worst structural fires they have seen—one such structure included the home of my sister and her family. Not to mention all of the geopolitical turmoil threatening the world. All in all, one may think it was the end of the world, and ironic enough, many have. But we as Christians should know better, and not give into the temptation of surrendering to fear. Terrible things in this world happen, but it’s important to remember two things: this is a broken world, and we have a brighter future in store for us.
I was speaking with someone recently about how it seemed like the Armageddon, I was able to tell them with confidence that I doubted it. Even though many people may be heralding the apocalypse, it is important to remember that this is an imperfect world, and as time goes on, that imperfection is going to become more apparent. Paul mentions it in Romans 8:22 when he tells his audience: “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” Birth pangs seems to be an apt description of all of the chaos and unrest around the world, but we also know that this isn’t the first time bad things have happened—a wise king once wrote about how there is nothing new under the sun. While the end-times may not be far off, this is not the first time catastrophe has struck, people seem to forget that.
The picture one sees when they imagine the world becoming even more worn down is not a pretty one, until it is repainted with the promises given to us by God. In fact, in the very same chapter I quoted from, Paul says: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose,” (Romans 8:28). Even if things seem bleak, God has promised that things work out in the end for His children—if not in this world, than in the next—and God has proven it time and again. Joseph was sold as a slave and ended up saving his family from famine; Paul was arrested, which let him preach the gospel in Rome; and believers in Europe were persecuted to the point of fleeing across the ocean to a land that would eventually become America. No matter how badly things get, God is ultimately in control, and even if it’s beyond our reasoning, He has a plan. Knowing that, and trusting in His promises, lets us face any disaster head on.