The world is a scary place. If you watch the news for thirty seconds, you risk losing faith in humanity. We are surrounded by death and destruction.
There are bombings.
You struggle with depression and anxiety.
A friend is in an abusive relationship.
Twelve year old boys talk about joining a gang.
There’s corruption in the government.
Teenage girls get pregnant and drop out of school.
Children go to school hungry.
Middle school girls and boys are bullied.
And maybe one day you go to a park to meet a friend and end up hiding in your car for fifteen minutes because shots are fired on the other side of the playground.*
I saw the tears of the oppressed—and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors—and they have no comforter. And I declared that the dead who had already died are happier than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 4:1-3)
As much as I wish to love every child from a loveless home and to show every boy who walks into the street with a gun that there is a better option, it is not within my power to do that. It is not within my power to end bombings in the Middle East or teenage pregnancy or middle school bullying or homelessness or female oppression or domestic abuse or depression.
If we allow this darkness to take over our lives though, then we’re letting the darkness to win. We will never find meaning or purpose if that is what constantly weighs on our hearts and minds. Unfortunately, we are not strong enough to throw off these weights. But…
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
There is no reason for us to try to throw that weight off by ourselves. God has the strength to do that. We are not stepping into this darkness with only our battle plan and weapons. God will equip us to fight (Ephesians 6:10-18). There is also no reason for us to lay awake at night and dwell in the darkness that we don’t have the power to change (Colossians 3:1-17). He will put to death those fears and give us a new focus:
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the darkness, take a moment to sit and ponder how Great God Is. Take a moment to remember all of the times that He has brought you out of darkness and into light.
Listen to music about newness of life!
Look at painting and photographs of nature!
Ask your friends how God is renewing them!
The world is a scary place. But God doesn’t want us to be scared. He’s got this.
*God is good. Innocent bystanders were not injured in this incident.