Good News in the Midst of Difficult Times

Everywhere you go it seems that there has been bad news and diffculty life circumstances in the lives of many people I know, including myself. There is also much upheaval in the world in the area of politics that fills the airwaves. To top it off, there have been many natural disasters that have destroyed property, taken lives, and increased the stress level of many people. It is good and proper to grieve and work through the various emotions that come with such loss for the scriptures do not condemn grief. Our Lord Jesus Himself wept openly when He saw His friends Mary and Martha weeping at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:35). While grieving is permitted and even helpful, we must also look up and see the good that is taking place. We are told in Psalm 30:5 Weeping endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning. In Psalm 130: 5-6, we read, I wait for the Lord; I wait, and put my hope in His word. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning.

There Is Hope

In our present day I see many Christians lamenting about the negative changes in our culture here in America. There is much over which to be concerned. There are various forms of insanity that have been unleashed on our society concerning gender, sexual morals, emotional frailty, and lack of community. I’m not going to discuss these because there is already much discussion about these subjects. Instead, I want you to understand that there is hope if we continue to share God’s word. In Isaiah 55:11, we read God’s promise that says, My word from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do. (CSB)

The Younger Generation Is Still Reachable

One area of hope is actually with the millennial generation. I read an opinion column in the paper today from a writer who is not conservative, but who laid out the case for the reason that many millennials may choose to embrace traditional marriage, biblical economic policies, (helping others, but not favoring excessive taxes to meet needs), and choosing religious community as a great place to meet life partners and start a family. That sounds very hopeful to me.

7 Surprising Trends in Global Christianity

The best news that should fill us with hope and inspire us to continue being faithful to spread God’s Good News in the gospel comes from the latest Facts and Trends article. 1) Christianity is growing faster than the world population. 2) Pentecostals and evangelicals are growing the fastest and are still picking up speed. 3) Atheism has peaked. There are fewer atheists in the world today (138 million) compared to 1970 (165 million). 4) Christianity is growing in cities, but not fast enough. 5) The center of Christianity has moved to the global South. Africa, South America, and Asia are seeing many people surrender to Jesus. 6) There are more evangelism opportunities than ever before. I know that I have shared the gospel with people over the internet and have become regular prayer partners with many of them. There are multitudes of opportunities to get involved in your local communities and volunteer and get to know people. Evangelism is more than just telling the good news. It is also getting involved in other people’s lives in meaningful ways. 7) The percentage of the unevangelized is shrinking, but there is still much work to do in spreading the gospel.

Jesus Is King!

The world is certainly very broken and is in great need of the healing power of Jesus. We should certainly be burdened and concerned about the state of our world and our communities, but let us not be overcome with despair. God is at work. The greatest need is for us to be consistent in our service for the Lord Jesus. We need to daily be doing the work of the Lord. If we will plant and water the seeds of the gospel, God will grant a great harvest when He deems that the time is right. Let’s go spread the Good News that Jesus identifies with our pain and suffering and has provided a remedy for it through His death, resurrection, and ascension. Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords! Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1b-2, CSB)

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© 2013 Michael H. McIlwain.  All rights reserved.