Stay the Course Continued
Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-3
We’re going through some pretty unbelievable times and seeing some implausible things happening in the world today. Just when we think we’ve experienced or witnessed an all-time low in the depravity of man with what’s happening around us, something else occurs that seems so surreal. The shooting of 2 sheriff’s deputies sitting in their car in Los Angeles by a gunman is one example of this. Something like this is tragic and makes no sense. If that wasn’t bad enough, we later find protestors outside the hospital where these deputies were being treated, protesting and chanting, “death to the police” and “we hope they die”. When has it ever been acceptable to act like this or even tolerate this kind of behavior? This type of behavior strikes an emotional chord in many of us. How should we respond? There are a couple of things we need to remember or realize before we do.
First, remember that while things may seem out of control, God never lost control. We may never understand why certain things are happening to certain people, but God is sovereign and in control of EVERYTHING! I find great comfort in knowing that God isn’t responding to things happening around us, such as a chess player responds to moves by their opponent. He is causing things to happen as part of His will and plan.
Next, remember that the terrible actions of a few are what get the attention of the masses. We need to try to keep things in their proper perspective. Most of the people around us don’t live or act like the few we see in the media. We shouldn’t live in fear or think that everyone around us is looking to cause us harm. As a child of God, I need to make responsible decisions as I live out my life, but also remember that everything happening around me is really out of my control.
And most importantly, we need to remember to continue on the path that God has called us to. Why am I still here on the earth in the midst of all this seeming chaos? We are here to point people to Christ! There are many who are lost and need Christ. We were called to make disciples and when I take my eyes and focus off of that, I am wasting time and resources that God has given me. While it seems right or we feel the urge to respond or take action against those wreaking havoc around us, doing so keeps us from our primary calling. We may get the urge to want to play the part of a vigilante, especially when we see terrible things happening to unsuspecting people or even those that we may know personally. While that may make us feel better, it is exactly the type of response that is expected of the world and what God tells us not to do. Scripture tells us that we are not of this world and should not live or act like the rest of the world. This applies to both our actions and our words. Just because we don’t act out on our urges, we can do just as much damage or be a terrible witness for Christ by grumbling, complaining or voicing our discontentment with the decisions our leaders are making. It is a sin to be in non-compliance with what our authorities are directing if what they are telling us to do doesn’t contradict Scripture. Taking matters in our own hands, contradicts the fact that God is omniscient and omnipotent, and that we need to intervene.
We need to accept God’s will and plan for the things happening around us, be responsible in focusing on our relationship with Him, and be looking for opportunities to witness to those who God has brought before us.