Today’s world is full of pain and bitterness. So many groups feel deep disappointment. So many problems seem to defy solutions. A glance at the daily headlines reveals a tide of distrust, discord, and disharmony sweeping the planet. Can Christians be effective in such an environment? Not unless they recognize the pain and perplexities that abound wherever real people encounter the real struggles of everyday existence.
Jeremiah serves as a model for how to make a sober, realistic appraisal of human need. As he witnessed the devastation left in the aftermath of Jerusalem’s fall, he reflected on the darkness and despair that covered the city (Lamentations 3:1–18).
I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath.
He has led me and made me walk
In darkness and not in light.
Surely He has turned His hand against me
Time and time again throughout the day.
Yet having looked that harsh reality in the eye, he then turned an eye toward God. He recognized that God was the only hope that remained for his people—hope in God’s mercy, compassion, faithfulness, and goodness (Lamentations 3:22–24).
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
Like Jeremiah, Christians today have a message of hope to offer the world—the hope that is in Jesus Christ. We do not have all the answers to today’s needs and problems, but we have the Lord. He is the light of the world, and we are called to bring His light into this dark world (Matthew 5:14–16; John 1:4, 5; 1 John 1:5).
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. – Matthew 5;14
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. – John 1:4
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. – 1 John 1:5
God could have used angels or miracles or numerous other means to announce His message. Instead, He has chosen everyday people to carry His message. Working through ordinary people facing the ordinary issues of day-to-day life, God intends to let the world know that there is hope beyond the problems and frustrations of the here and now.
Are you fulfilling this calling in your life?