With the way things are in the world right now, you’d have to be lying to yourself to say you aren’t moved by them.
If you have no reaction or feelings in regard to what’s going on around you, then you might be engaging in distractions just to function. Those distractions can so overwhelm your senses that they serve to deaden you to truth and the seriousness of it all. I’m purposely NOT listing what those distractions might be for concern that someone may get convicted over an innocent indulging in a momentary distraction. What I will say about that is we must be alert to a drive that may creep up inside us to have fun or be happy all the time. And being happy is not the same as having joy. Happiness is a reaction to pleasant events.
When our culture is pressed from all sides with inflation and fuel prices running rampant, talk about a world war, Covid and vaccine fears, and so many other things, people feel anxiety or even anger welling up inside them. To top it off, the enemy seems to have released even more demonic pressures upon the Body of Christ in these past several months. You may sense it even in your own marriage, co-worker relationships, and total strangers to where some may want to argue or start something much more serious.
The Apostle Peter gave us a heads-up about all this in 1 Peter 5:5-11.
“…clothe yourselves with humility toward one another because God is opposed to the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, having cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. So, resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brothers and sisters who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Society has introduced and is actively selling a desire to push ourselves to the top of the pile if we want to excel, win, or survive. But yet, Peter is telling us to do the opposite. To clothe ourselves with humility means to give up our right every day to get angry and even the score. That requires some dying. Not an easy thing to do in this day and age. And he says the place to do it is under the hand of God. Making self-effacing comments is not under the hand of God and it’s certainly not humility. That is simply trying to push our pride into the back corner of our hearts – it’s there but out of sight for a while. Under the hand of God is total and complete submission, which means our allowing Him to fill up our hearts to where there is no room left for anything else.
Then eventually at some point when we’re not expecting it, He exalts us because we weren’t looking to be exalted. And that requires that we throw off all our anxieties at His feet, and that’s done daily as well. If we were to take matters into our own hands, then we’re admitting that He doesn’t really care for us like the Word says He does. “Be of sober spirit” tells us to be serious-minded about this. Staying alert is required to keep ourselves from being devoured or even bitten by a serious-minded devil acting like a ravenous lion. It actually is quite a consolation knowing that you are not alone – other believers throughout the world are going through the same things just like you are. Then He makes the promise that He will make you perfect, confirm and affirm, strengthen, and put you on firm ground after you’ve gone through some things. But that’s the kicker. Isn’t that why most of us pray about our tough times so we won’t HAVE to go through them? Peter informs us that there is a prerequisite in order for us to get all the promises. So, we should more than just endure the tough times and wait them out. God is sharpening our faith as we cast all our worries and anxieties on Him. That’s what lays the groundwork for the perfecting and strengthening.
Trying to quickly get past it all may not be such a good idea because if we don’t learn anything from it all, we may be destined to go through it again. No thanks!
The Father really does care about you – don’t let the enemy lie to you about that. We’re really tougher and more resilient than we think we are. God knows what we can endure. But know this, He will definitely have many good things for you after you’ve passed the test! And if you didn’t pass the last one, don’t worry, there’s another one just ahead! It’s another chance for Him to bless with strength and perfection!