I don’t know about you, but I have been battling world weariness lately. In the last month or so, I have, via the news, witnessed hundreds killed in horrific attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq where my refugee friends have family members. I’ve seen a horrific attack in France and checked facebook to make sure my niece was safe, sheltering in place in Munich. I’ve seen reports of black men dying at the hands of the police, and policemen ambushed in multiple cities. I’ve watched an attempted coup in the country I called home for twelve years and I’m witnessing a presidential race that reminds me more of an episode of Maury.
I’ve asked the Lord to restore my world-weary heart. And in His Word He’s pointed out three prescriptions to refresh my tired heart:
1. Put your hope in Him instead of in circumstances or people.
I hope places I treasure, like the country of Turkey, will stay safe and accessible. Hearing of thousands arrested and curtailed freedoms, I am deeply grieved. I hope U.S. presidential elections will be conducted with a measure of grace, civility, and integrity. But these hopes are invested in things that are not trustworthy: circumstances and people. God invites me, instead, to put my hope in Him. Hope in God is not an I-wonder-if it-will-happen kind of hope. It is certainty!
Patiently wait for God alone, my soul!
For he is the one who gives me confidence.
He alone is my protector and deliverer.
He is my refuge; I will not be upended.
God delivers me and exalts me;
God is my strong protector and my shelter. –Psalm 62: 5-7 NET
I love the reminder that in Him, “I will not be upended.” Now that’s reassuring!
2. Sink your roots down into the surety of God’s sovereignty.
I am disheartened when I turn on the television and hear about another tragedy or political name-calling, but God is not surprised. He does not hear about these things and wonder, “How did that slip through my fingers?” Instead, in Isaiah 46:9-11, He says,
Remember what I accomplished in antiquity!
Truly I am God, I have no peer;
I am God, and there is none like me,
who announces the end from the beginning
and reveals beforehand what has not yet occurred,
who says, “My plan will be realized,
I will accomplish what I desire,”
who summons an eagle from the east,
from a distant land, one who carries out my plan.
Yes, I have decreed,
yes, I will bring it to pass;
I have formulated a plan,
yes, I will carry it out.
Our world is in the hands of the same God who parted the Red Sea.
3. Camp on the truth that God wins: God’s purposes cannot be thwarted.
This truth comes straight from the mouth of a man who had every reason to trash talk God: Job. Instead in Job 42, this world-weary man comes to God in repentance and declares, “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”
This declaration is both reassuring and disquieting. God’s purposes cannot be thwarted, but the reality check for me is to ask myself: Are my purposes aligned with God’s purposes? How high are my comfort and my desires on my priority list? Job had to come to terms with those same questions.
As I look at these three prescriptions for world-weariness, God reminds me that the best way to remember these principles is to make His Word my home. So step away with me from the TV, internet news and Google. Lay aside your world weariness and open your Bible. Plant your feet firmly on the bedrock of God.
“I love you, Lord, my source of strength!
The Lord is my high ridge, my stronghold, my deliverer.
My God is my rocky summit where I take shelter,
my shield, the horn that saves me, and my refuge.”
–David in Psalm 18:1-2