Did You Hear Jesus Sound Retreat? People are discouraged today. Christians are discouraged. I can’t count the number of conversations I’ve had with folks who are totally bummed out by the doom and gloom they see in our current events and culture. It is scary and possibly more ominous in the recent decade than in prior ones. Very few people of any generation seem to observe current times and say that in general things appear more promising in current times than with past times. And I don’t think that’s just nostalgia. The world does seem darker and more frightening. Maybe it’s that more troublesome things, dare I say evil, seems to be hitting closer to home than ever before.
Jesus foretold this. “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power.” (2 Tim. 3:1-5a NIV) Wow! Walk through that description slowly.
A pre-occupation with the woes and evils of this world is a great way for the enemy of our souls and Prince of this world to turn believers inward and nourish our “bunker mentality.” Many Christians already take advantage of ways to isolate themselves from their culture and seek the warmth of available “holy huddles” exclusively with other believers. This is not Jesus life at all. He calls us out to be the ambassadors of his message of reconciliation to God and to walk “in this world” while not being conformed “to the world.” His essence, the Holy Spirit, lives within us to direct and empower us and give us the will to do so and as such Jesus lives up to his promise to be “with you always.”
We are called to be “the light of the world” for Jesus and not shrink from fear of the darkness. We must take comfort and have confidence in that! Jesus has called things as they are, clearly and accurately. “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn.16:33) And so He has. And so must we!