Hope for Our Troubled World
A devotional by Alexis A. Goring
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” –Psalm 42:5 (NIV)
On their company website, CNN reported the following in a box titled “What You Need to Know” about emergency measures globally: "The US has declared a national emergency. France is closing all restaurants, cafes, cinemas, and clubs. People in Spain are restricted from leaving their homes. And the Philippines capital is about to go under partial lockdown."
Clearly, our world is in trouble and people have real reasons to be fearful. But the Bible says that this is just the beginning! However, God doesn’t want us to be fearful. The Bible says in Matthew 24:6 (NKJV), “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
Now here’s the Good News: God has promised to be with us until the end of the world (Matthew 28:20) and He means that literally!
Let’s take a moment to see what that means … The Creator of the Universe who made this Earth and your heart tells us to NOT let our hearts be troubled! In John 14:1 (KJV), Jesus Christ (God’s Son) says, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”
Let’s read the full context of that Scripture in John 14:1-6 (NIV). This is where Jesus comforts his disciples. He said: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Jesus is The Way to our home in Heaven. He is our hope in troubled times. He is our Savior. Our Healer. Our Redeemer, and He wants to be your Best Friend. Let that sink in, the Savior of the world wants to be your very Best Friend! Jesus is the friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). Jesus is the only friend capable of not only calming your fears, but saving your soul (John 3:16-17).
With Jesus in the picture, you always have hope! And the good news is that Jesus is always in the picture! Unfortunately, we as humans (even those of us who believe in God and are sold out for Jesus Christ) can sometimes forget these beautiful, Bible based truths and comforting promises of God as we become overwhelmed by the troubles of this world.
Early in the morning of Sunday, March 15, my soul was troubled. I was wide awake with worry after watching the news and emotional eating just after midnight. But, then God struck me with a Bible verse then He followed up with a song. Let’s read the verse first. The psalmist says in Psalm 42:5 (NIV), “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
Put your hope in God. I could almost feel God whisper those words to me.
Then the song “Find Rest” by Francesca Battistelli entered my mind and I went to YouTube and played it immediately. As the song lyrics washed over me, it helped me to renew my mind (Romans 12:2) and focus on what really matters (my relationship with Jesus Christ because only He can save me)!
Let’s examine my paraphrase of the song: The opening lyrics point to Biblical truth in saying that God never sleeps nor slumbers (Psalm 121:3-4). He’s never off the clock. Nothing that happens to us on Earth from the shedding of our tears to our expressions of what we fear, is a surprise to Him. God never runs out of resources to rush to our aid. All He wants us to do is to trust Him. He wants our weary souls to find rest in Him. He wants us to put our hope in Him. God is strong. God is faithful. God’s love for you and me is real.
As we say in church, God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good! Unlike mankind, God cannot lie. Everything that He says in His Word (The Holy Bible) is true! The Bible says in Numbers 23:19 (ESV), “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?”
Now the age old saying when we are living in troubled times and experience tragedy or trauma is, “How could a good God allow this?”
There are many answers that we may not receive until we arrive in Heaven, the Bible says in Deuteronomy 29:29, and even then we may not know everything. But we can be okay with not knowing everything because what we do know is that God is good, God loves us unconditionally and He has our best interest at heart. We can trust Him to take care of us. Even when you don’t feel like God is there for you, He is. Don’t be fooled into thinking that He’s abandoned you. The Bible says that He will NEVER abandon you (Hebrews 13:5).
If you are living and breathing on this planet Earth then that is proof therein itself that God loves you and is there for you! Pastor Bianca Olthoff says, “If you are NOT dead, then God is NOT done!” Every day is another chance to accept Jesus Christ into your heart, believe in Him, love Him, obey Him, trust Him and follow Him all the way to Heaven!
Yes, we are living in troubled times. No, we don’t know what tomorrow holds but as the saying goes, “I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know Who holds tomorrow.” God holds tomorrow! Can I get a “Hallelujah, Amen?”
You are in my heart and prayers. May God continue to watch over, bless and protect you. I pray that you will trust Him to deliver you and know that He will always be there for you. God will show up right on time in your situation. If you believe in the Bible and what it says then you have hope knowing that in the end, God wins! And if you stay on His team, you will win too and receive the most beautiful gift for free!
The free gift from God is better than a winner’s trophy or cash prize, it is eternal life spent in His Presence and that life starts in Heaven. It will be a life free from sickness and sorrow. A place that does not include death and is free of pain and destruction. It will be the start of a beautiful, real story that never ends. But first, we must press forward and never give up or grow weary of doing good (Galatians 6:9)! We must live for Him (God) and not worry about or become fearful of anything. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV), “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Hold on to hope, God’s hope. Put your trust in God.
Alexis A. Goring
Founder of "God is Love" blog