In light of recent developments, I feel compelled to write. I do not pretend that I have a major platform, a huge sphere of influence, or all the answers to every situation that our nation faces today. As a follower of Christ, I’m compelled to speak as it is our civic and Christian duty to speak to issues of our day with wisdom and discernment. All too often the world knows what Christians stand against, but not what we stand for. I will be the first to admit that we are living in perilous times. Talks of nuclear war with North Korea, protests and riots over racial tensions, and the daily barrage of tweets from the President are enough to cause anyone to be anxious at best or apathetic at worst. The twenty-four-hour news cycle can be overwhelming and difficult to keep up with the latest happenings. When we think that we have seen or heard it all, something else happens to stir up our fears, mount up our frustrations, or numb us to the reality that the world is in desperate need of hope. It is easy to through up our hands in disgust and move on with our lives. However, this begs the question, “As Christians, how should we respond to the current events that are seemly spinning out of control in our world today?”
How Christians Should Not Respond to Current Events
One way we can respond is by throwing up our hands and burying our heads in the sand. Truth be told this is the easiest response. We all have our own busy lives with job, family, church, and other responsibilities weighing down on us. When we watch, read, or listen to the news (if we consume news at all) it can be easy to drown it out and numb ourselves to what is going on around us. We tell ourselves that there are more important things to worry about and until things affect our family or us personally there is no need to worry about it. However, the truth is by numbing ourselves to what is going on in the world; we are being disobedient to God’s call on our lives. As followers of Christ, we have the hope of the gospel, which is the only hope for our desperate world. If we bury our heads in the sand and pretend that nothing is happening, we are withholding the from the world the only hope it has, Jesus.
Look to Christ Alone
In the midst of current events and the depression of the twenty-four-hour news cycle, our response must be to look to Jesus. Before we fall into the temptation to throw up our hands and bury our heads in the sand, we must remember that Jesus is sovereign over current events. In the letter to the Colossians, we read, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him, all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17, ESV). Nothing that has happened since the beginning of time has slipped by Jesus. He sees all things, knows all things, and is working all things for His glory. If we bury our heads in the sand or portray the fear that we have seen in recent days, it does not point people to Jesus.
When we are tempted to give up and are overwhelmed by the depravity of our world we would do well to heed the words of the Apostle Paul to the church at Philippi, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:8-9. ESV). In short, think about Jesus. Only He is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise. The next time you listen to the news and feel anxiety welling up in you, unplug for a moment and spend a few quiet moments thinking about Jesus, what He has done for you, and that He is in control. When we think of Jesus, we can rejoice in the midst of difficulty and have peace that passes all understanding.
As followers of Christ, we must remember that the recent events of our day are significant. They have importance not just in the present, but also for eternity. The way in which we respond to issues such as racial tensions, political unrest, immigration issues, and others point people to where our hope lies. In these days, we cannot afford to be silent. We must speak up and share the hope of the gospel. Whether you realize it or not other people are watching. They are just as frightened and worried by recent events as we are. What a great opportunity we have to speak up for the truth. In doing so, we must not stand for a particular political party, social agenda, or pick sides in a Twitter war. We must take this opportunity to show them, Jesus.
We must remember that this world is not our home. Our hope does not lie in the pleasures and comforts that this life can offer. Our hope is in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. From eternity past to eternity future, Jesus is sustaining the world and bringing it to the culmination of his glorious return when he makes all things new. Our desire is for a better country, that is a heavenly one, where Jesus is preparing for us a city (Hebrews 11:16).
Zach is a graduate of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He blogs at zachkendrick.wordpress.com, and is a contributor for Servants of Grace. He has written book reviews for Cross-Focused Reviews, Crossway, New Growth Press, Tyndale House Publishers and Fortress Press. He resides in Birmingham with his wife, Courtney.