(Psalm 2:1, 4) 1 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.
Change is a constant in our brief lives from the womb until our death. We struggle to maintain some semblance of continuity or stability but that is seldom the case. Even the lives of people that seem to have an unchanging life behind the scenes change is at work. Having grown up in very unsettling circumstances I have always craved stability and things that do not change. Yet I have learned as I am sure many of you have that change is exactly what I need. And many times, when I was mad about change or felt cheated it was in retrospect the best thing for me and those around me.
Isaiah 55:8-9 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Change reveals how we idolize our circumstances, our jobs, ourselves. Change is a gift from God.
The world is in more turmoil now than it has been in a long time. We are unsettled and many are suffering. God is at work amid this people suffering. Ye we as co-regents in creation, God’s image bearers are also charged with participating in the betterment and flourishing of our lives. We can choose rebellion and evil and many people do. But never forget there is more at work in this world than evil, God is at work, Christ Jesus and the Person of the Holy Spirit are at work. Also, often we are the answer to our own prayers. So, do not pray for someone else to help your neighbor, do what you can do to help.
God is not anxious about the world as it is today. He has ordained it to be so. Jesus has seen the weariness produced by the chaos of our lives and he has entered it to offer us rest and reflection. Christ offers us rest from any terrors and anxiety that we feel right now. The culture of unrest the world tells us to worry and work to secure our position and hold onto our material wealth, our things. But Jesus tells us that by and through His work, it is finished.
Martin Luther stated, “Though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear, for God has willed His truth to triumph through us.”
We need to touch briefly on the word ordained and what it means to us. Scripture teaches that God ordains (or decrees) all things. From the most insignificant happenings, the whereabouts of a sparrow, or the number of hairs on your scalp (Matthew 10: 29-31) the ruling of empires (Proverbs 21:1) and even the outcome of a throw of dice.
Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.
This does not mean God manipulates but as He can see all of creation, all our lives all at once he has already seen how He, God the Father, Christ Jesus and the Person of the Holy Spirit has interacted with us and reality. This means God is working through a million different things in time and space, through other people, through Angels to affect life for the betterment of his children.
Our world has changed, thank you Lord! The crazy treadmill we were on to gain wealth and status are gone. Many of our fellow citizens are suffering, many have died. God wants us to be the light and salt by getting involved, make friends, help the orphan and the widow. Stop being the critic and the scoffer on social media. God does not need you to persecute those with different opinions. Your political views will not feed or cloth your neighbor. As we come out of the pandemic in the months to come, we are offered the opportunity by our lord to help those around us flourish or we can continue in our selfish ways. What will you do?