We are living in times where new calamities and devastating situations of cataclysmic proportions happen daily. The news is rife with war, earthquakes, volcanoes, tornados, tsunamis, drought, floods, and comets of apocalyptic nature. We see more and more corrupt politicians and leaders misusing their power. We get sucked into the chaos by mere location and presence or our own empathetic response.
But how should we, as Christians, respond to these headlines of “shaking” of nations in these difficult and painful times? Love them or hate them, regardless of whether the people involved are wrong or right and may have affiliations or beliefs politically or spiritually contrary to yours, they are real people with families, homes, and jobs just like you and me.
Throughout the years, I’ve heard many controversial statements from the Christian community. People say, “We should just declare ‘the world is ending, repent’ and wash our hands in innocence.” Of late, I’ve heard more slinging of profanities and curses at others’ wrongdoing. They say it’s God’s judgement on non-believers that has destroyed many lives. Others just shrug their shoulders and say that it is a natural disaster in a country far away, it doesn’t affect them, what are they meant to do about it. Some believers feel paralysed with fear, doubt, anger, disbelief, sadness, and uncertainty.
In our emotional turmoil we should seek God’s guidance.
“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
4 And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.” Luke 11:1-4 NKJV
Jesus calls us in these Scriptures to look to Him first and foremost; we should then look at ourselves and our own motives to see whether they are in alignment with God. Show gratitude (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and forgiveness for those who have wronged us (Matthew 6:14) and others.
Pray for everyone, whether they are believers or nonbelievers (1 Timothy 2:1).
So, in these times of uncertainty and pain, in a positive and optimistic spirit of wisdom, pray for comfort (1 Peter 1:6-7), peace, restoration, restitution, and resilience in all circumstances. Pray (Psalms 32:6) for harmony and peace, (John 16:33 ) and God’s comforting presence to be felt by all. Pray that people in all walks of life may find mercy and guidance in God (Psalms 59:16).
If you don’t know what to do or pray use Isaiah 61 as guidance.
- Pray for freedom from oppression.
- Give to those less fortunate.
- Pray comfort to those who mourn.
- Make God the place of shelter and protection.
- Provide for those who grieve.
- Pray God brings beauty out of ashes.
- Find joy despite mourning.
- Praise instead of despair.
- Display the Lord’s’ splendour.
- Rebuild what has been devastated.
When the world seems to be crumbling around you, stand strong and be courageous, let God be your refuge and strength. Do not get swept up in controversy, fearmongering and conspiracy theories. As followers of Jesus we should be those that bring solutions, peace, hope, and comfort to a chaotic world in turmoil.