Do you ever get the sense that something is wrong?
Many parents have that peculiar talent to know when their kids are up to something. When we were very young, we often did things that we should not have done. Inevitably, Mom and Dad seemed to find out, and we got caught. As we grew, we became a little more adroit at doing things our way, but even then our parents, friends, teachers and others could generally read us. If we were willing to listen, we often found the help we needed to solve our problems.
Many husbands and wives become so attuned to one another that they seem to spontaneously recognize when one or the other is even a little bit preoccupied with stressful problems. The conversation usually goes, “what’s wrong?”–the answer too often is, “nothing!” However, in good marriages, that thin, self-isolating veneer often vanishes when one mate sincerely engages the other in loving concern.
It is comforting to have people in our lives who care deeply about us and who can tell when we are troubled–when something IS wrong. In fact these relationships in both early and adult life teach us to rely on the wisdom and counsel of others. That is what Christians must do as well! When things go wrong or when we face overwhelming circumstances, we can turn to God for His mercy and His guidance.
Christians are called upon to live their lives as shining examples in a world in which so much is wrong. We are called upon to be peacemakers in a world that is at war with itself. Vile, unspeakable acts of violence have filled the world in this generation. Even among those nations which enjoy some modicum of stability, it seems that morality is now being overrun with cancerous depravity from within.
Long ago, God caused to be recorded this evaluation of His people, Israel: “…everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). God has also spoken of our time, today: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)!
All along, God has told mankind what’s wrong! He has gone a step further by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to show us how we should live. Added to that, God has given–to those who repent of their sins and are baptized–His Holy Spirit. If we who are Christians avail ourselves of God’s great love, we can overcome the wrong, and we can live, more and more, in a way that is right–that is, righteously!
God is very interested in each one of us. So closely and intimately does He watch over us that He knows our needs even before we do (Compare Matthew 6:25-32). He knows when something is wrong with us.
Peter understood that Christians in this age of Satan’s reign would suffer: “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (1 Peter 4:12). He continues with this most important reminder for when we find ourselves in this kind of tough situation: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (5:6-7).
Paul adds this perspective for us: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us” (Romans 8:31)?
Sometimes, things do go wrong, and all of us must deal with these personal tests. If we have been building our spiritual house well, then we not only will have friends and family, but we also will have loving brethren in the Church of God to help in times of need. Most importantly, we do have our Father and our elder Brother, Jesus, to help us.
Let’s all make sure that we allow others to help us when they can, and, especially, we must seek the sure help that is always available to those called according to God’s will: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).