People are battling discouragement and are seeking encouragement. They want to see change and experience transformation. People are hurting. Lacking confidence many are searching for answers in a world burning with questions.
So who can you turn to for hope amid the struggles that accompany our journey in a seemingly upside-down, chaotic world?
The presence of evil is as clear as the day is long. An ever-increasing desensitization to suffering and violence, and the devaluation of life in all its forms fill the news headlines. We have become experts in pointing fingers, lacking accountability, and failing to accept responsibility. We shout at God when misery wreaks havoc in the world while simultaneously screaming that no such God really exists. We have grown to believe that the power of prayer is irrelevant and view the words of Scripture as powerless. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We have grown immune to violence, deception, and corruption. If we are all basically good, how did this happen?
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
Romans 7:15 (NIV)
Humans separated themselves from God because of sin. While we would like to see ourselves as being basically good, the ugly reality is we have an innate tendency to do the wrong thing (Psalm 51). We have selfish hearts living in a world that celebrates seeking one’s self-interest. We like to follow our own will rather than the will of God. We seek to satisfy the desires of our own heart instead of seeking to have a heart for the things of the Lord. Scripture is clear. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). If we claim to have no sin, we deceive ourselves (1 John 1:8-10).
God provided a solution to our sin problem that separates us from Him (Mark 2:17).
While forgiveness and salvation can’t be earned, (Titus 2:11), we have a bridge that can help us find the way back to God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Scripture tells us that all we have to do is ask God to forgive us and make a conscious choice to follow Christ (Acts 20:21). The death and resurrection of Jesus provides the only way to restoring our relationship with God. Trusting in Christ’s sacrifice for our sins and confessing our sins to Him, opens the door to salvation (John 3:16, Romans 10:9). When we accept Jesus as our personal Savior, the Holy Spirit dwells in us, giving each of us the power to live a Christian life (Romans 8:2, 6). The Spirit gives us strength to withstand the trials and temptations. All anyone of us has to do is accept through faith the gift of grace God has provided for us through His son, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (NIV)
Alone, you can’t change the world. But you can accept the One who is able to transform you exceedingly abundantly above all you can think, ask, or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Life change begins with true heart change. That change comes through Jesus. He alone is the answer.