If you feel like you are living at the corner of Discouraged and Hopeless today, this post is for you. If you are discouraged, troubled, concerned, confused about life in 2020, this post is for you.
Living at the corner of Discouraged Street and Hopeless Avenue is standing room only when it comes to US politics. Describing Christians as harshly politically divided is an understatement of epic proportions. Have you grown weary of having your opinion labeled as following “the bogeyman rather than reality”? Have you become troubled seeing one Christian claim all those voting for their candidate are “critical thinkers” while those voting for the other candidate are “blind followers” or “loyal believers”? Are you emotionally drained as a result of unending social media threads from Christians proclaiming the faith of others is somehow deficient due to a political opinion?
Are you troubled by the struggle to discern truth from table pounding opinion about the many issues on the table across the nation? There are legitimate issues from race relations, to equal justice under the law, to the COVID-19 virus that need to be addressed. Unfortunately, we are often presented an opinion labeled as fact. My physician described this during a recent breakfast meeting. Faithful medical researchers can come to widely divergent opinions based upon the same data based upon their experience and training. If you are irritated by the relentless demand that an opinion or conclusion be ruled as fact, we hope this post is for you.
If you are troubled, discouraged, irritated, or confused…if you are living at the corner of Discouragement and Hopeless…let me introduce you to Jesus. As one beggar who found some bread, let me say where I found it. When Jesus was explaining to his disciples that he would soon not be in their midst, they became troubled (John 13:31ff). Being told they could not go where he was going was confusing. Hearing that Peter would soon disown Jesus three times was earth shattering! Thomas put their confusion into words, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus, desiring to quiet their troubles with peace said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” It seems these words are desperately needed as people do not know how to deal with each other or the circumstances in which we live. Perhaps we don’t need a short series of messages, or a sermon with six sure steps to peace, as much as we need a personal encounter with the glory and majesty of God in the person of Jesus. Jesus did not say, “I will show you the way.” He said, “I am the way.”
Now, this is not a magic ointment to rub on our rash. Jesus has not lifted me from the frustrations of this world. I have been a political junkie for more than 60 years. I certainly have my opinions, and sometimes, they radically differ from those of other believers. Repeatedly quoting “I am the way and the truth and the life,” will not make the violence go away. Journaling my thoughts on the glory of God, His majesty has not wondrously ended racism.
When I remind myself that I need to sit down with The Way rather than discover my way to fix things has positive effects. Type A personalities are not contemplative by nature. They are often driven and motivated by causes, by the need to fix a problem. John 14:6 reminds me that I need to calm myself. Sometimes I need to walk quietly and listen to the soft sound of sandled feet more than I need to dig into the analysis of an issue. Often, I need only to be in his presence so he can quiet my confusion. I need to be reminded of the MAJESTY of God who created this amazing world, and to remember that He is still on His throne in spite of the mess of this world. This is done by spending time with him, listening to his voice….in God’s Word.
I know I am not alone. Some are living at the corner of Discouraged & Hopeless. Some want to relocate as badly as I do. I do not have all the answers to our ills, and I am not sure anyone on earth does. Jesus will not make the troubles go away. He may not make social media go away. He will put everything into perspective, and he will allow us to see God in His majesty.