The year 2020 will go down in history as the one of the most tumultuous in decades, potentially even surpassing some of the turmoil of the 1960s, and while worldwide events plague mankind with worry, God offers a cure.
The troubles of the year 2020 … Where does one even begin? The year started with a worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 infecting nearly 25 million people and over 800,000 deaths around the globe as of this writing.
In the United States it has been grim: Over 6 million total coronavirus infections and nearly 184,000 deaths so far; unemployment peaked at over 20.5 million in May; no money for rent, mortgages or food; repeated natural disasters of fires, floods and storms; civil unrest, looting, rioting, increasing crime and murder; people crying out for both justice and peace.
Jesus spoke about the futility of worry. God did not intend for us to spend our lives filled with worry.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
Instead, God wants us to be filled with hope.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Every single human life has a purpose and a meaning. God has a plan for us all.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
God will hear your prayers. Instructing us not to worry, Jesus said God will give us the good things we truly need, despite the fact that we are sinners in nature.
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
– Luke 11:13
Pastor John MacArthur reminds us that, while many of us pray to God or Jesus, most people ignore offering prayer to the third part of the Trinity: The Holy Spirit. In fact, MacArthur advocates for Holy Spirit movement. The Holy Spirit is the eternal spirit, the same spirit that came upon the Virgin Mary and delivered the power of the Most High (Luke 1:35).
It is the very energy of God and the Holy Spirit is also fully God.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
In teaching the disciples how to pray, Jesus said we don’t need to utter mindless repetitions. The Holy Spirit knows what we need.
“Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
– Matthew 6:8
In the Bible, God repeatedly promises justice will come. At the same time, God warns against taking justice into our own hands. True justice is for Him and Him alone. Not only does God know who the guilty parties are, but he knows the hearts and minds, the thoughts and intentions behind those who do wrong, and those of the innocent as well.
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'”
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;”
This is a warning for those who would align themselves with ‘cancel culture’ and “groupthink,” as well as those who see their thoughts and ideas as the only righteous ones.
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
– Matthew 7:12
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.”
The oft-repeated axiom, “history repeats itself,” reminds us that what we are seeing is not something new. We can take comfort in this because we can look to the Bible and see how God eventually makes evildoers pay.
Those who persecuted the Israelites eventually paid dearly for their actions. People who committed evil paid for their crimes. We can take solace in the fact that the actions of those doing evil now will eventually be stopped.