Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thinking Biblically in a Chaotic World

How should we as Christians be thinking when it seems like everything in the world is falling apart? I was asked to speak last night at our Wednesday service and thought it might be helpful for us to discuss this topic. Here is some of what I mentioned to the people there.

1. Be sure to think about what is true. The Bible tells us in John 8:32 that the truth will set us free. That means free from the bondage of sin, but also from the bondage of worry and fret that so often overwhelms us. Paul also reminds us in Philippians 4:8 that we should set our mind on things that are true, lovely, etc. So often we are inclined to listen to our inner self telling us all that is wrong and ugly. God tells us to dwell on the things that our true. As Christians we believe that we find the truth in the Scriptures. So that is where our thoughts should be directed.

2. One of the first truths that we need to come to grips with is that God is in control of all things, not just aware of them. I have had many well-meaning people tell me that what encourages them is that God knows what is going on. Frankly, it doesn’t help me a lot to know that God knows about the wars or the earthquakes or the tsunami. I’d be satisfied with that if that is what the Bible teaches.

The Bible teaches that God is in control of all, not just aware. In Daniel 4 verses 31, 34 and 35 we read: “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.” “His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; he does according to his will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’”

In Psalm 75:6, 7 we read, “For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the judge; he puts down one, and exalts another.”

Some other passages you might look at are Isaiah 45:1, 7, 12 and Isaiah 7:18. In both of these passages we learn that God uses ungodly kings for his glory to accomplish his will among men.

What these passages teach us is that the person in power in any country is put there by God for his own purposes. As Christians, we should believe this because that is what the Bible teaches, but we realize that this poses problems for many people because of the tyrannical and ungodly nature of many rulers in the world. However, what we need to remember is that we don’t get to choose or design the kind of God that fits our image of what God should be like. The God who exists has chosen to reveal himself through his word. He is as he is and we need to accept that and worship and obey him accordingly.

Tomorrow we’ll look at God’s control over nature.

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