To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
When they hurled insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;
“by his wounds you have been healed”.
For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the shepherd and overseer of your souls. 2 Peter 2:21-25 (NIV)
We are living in strange times. Would you agree?
I often wonder if the state of the world, and the United States in particular, is worse now than it was in the past. After all, we, the generations who are alive today, cannot be blamed for placing much more emphasis on what we are actually experiencing, as opposed to what we haven't personally witnessed (on TV), but only read about in books or (more likely) watched on the History Channel. I've heard people say that “it's definitely worse now”, or things have always been “this bad”, it's just that we hear about more of “it” because of today's technology, social media, etc. That's a valid point. But these people have chosen a more cynical view of the happenings around the globe than I do.
I can, however, remember a country that was much more … warm and fuzzy than today's. I was born in 1963. It was a different time. The sky was bluer, the Sun was warmer, church bells rang truer, Coke was … well … Coke, and life, in general was simply glorious! Just think of the movie Stand by Me and you'll have the idea. You remember! It was a raucous “coming of age” romp about four young boys and their morbid fascination with finding the body of another young man who had gone missing. The rumor was that the kid in question had been hit by a train. Then, along their quest, the friends suffered through trials like: Chopper, the watchdog in the junk yard and his owners grisly command of, “Chopper, sick … you know whats”; a marsh full of leeches—and what happens to Gordie's … you know whats; and wildly running to escape certain death from the train on the trestle. Then, as soon as they find the corpse, The Designated Survivor and his gang of reckless misfits shows up to claim credit for finding the victim, threatening physical harm to the four friends with a switchblade. But his attempt to muscle them out is thwarted when future U.S.S. Enterprise Ensign Wesley Crusher scares off the thugs with a .45 caliber hand-cannon that he had hidden in his backpack!
The events of today seem much more dire than anything that's happened in the past. How could things like (in no particular order) Noah's flood, Job's suffering, the Israelites enslavement by the Egyptians, the Exodos, seven years of famine, Sodom and Gomorrah, Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego in the furnace, or even Adam and Eve being thrown out of the Garden of Eden on their proverbial butts, possibly compare with:
a President of the United States who “colludes” with Russians, Ukrainians, North Koreans, Iranians, Martians and every other hostile government … IN THE WORLD; the coronavirus killing everyone … IN THE WORLD; war is about to erupt between every country … you guessed it … IN THE WORLD; all police officers … IN THE WORLD are murderers; and … every person … IN THE WORLD is racist, especially if they themselves are unaware of it. Actually, I think that makes them DOUBLE racists because they don't care enough to ask the ACLU whether they are or not.
So much for our “global society”, huh?
We live in a time when people are much more critical than they were in the past. Absolutely everyone IN THE WORLD is a rapist, misogynist, xenophobe, homophobe, transphobe, islamophobe, stupid-people-o-phobe, or just plain wrong about … whatever beliefs they have that aren't solidly in alignment with the rest of society's victims. The only exception, of course, is those who are doing the accusing. They, obviously, hold all the moral compasses IN THE WORLD. In other words, everyone who is right … is a victim of someone's (your) oppression.
So, shame on you!
Today, it's fashionable to be the victim, so everyone with an agenda is a victim. The trick for us “oppressors”, at least those of us who are Christians, is to remember:
not to react to the ravings of others and remember who we belong to!
We were put here for a purpose. A purpose that God set for us before time was time. Our task is to plant seeds. We do this by being the examples for others to follow. We set the pace for the rest of our brothers and sisters, even … no … especially the lost, and whenever possible, we are to share the good news of scripture with all who are willing to listen. The great commission made it clear:
Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I (Jesus) have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
And we can't do it alone, especially when the enemy is around every corner. We live in a world where people can and are offended by anything that they choose to be offended by. Some are even offended by simple acts of kindness offered when they appear to be having a bad day. This is nothing but spiritual warfare, as most irrational reactions usually are. When this happens, we need our brothers and sisters to pray for and encourage us …
… and to remind us who it is that we belong to, forever.
Today is the day. Now is the time. The battle is on!
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
G. J. Fortier is a member of Ironmen Ministries and First Baptist Church, Centerville, GA. Look for his novels on Amazon on Kindle and paperback. Or visit his website at www.GerardFortier.com