Thursday, June 20, 2013

Think it Through Thursday: Living in a Broken World

This was my contribution to Redemptive Pursuit on Monday.

Psalm 119:123 and 136

“My eyes long for your salvation
and for the fulfillment of your
righteous promise.

My eyes shed streams of tears,
because people do not keep your law.”

Watching the news these past few months is almost too much for me to handle: tiny lives brutally extinguished, women kidnapped, parents bury children, bombs tear holes, leaders need wisdom. All these things together can start you thinking that the world is going to ‘you-know-where’ in a hand basket or that surely this must be the worst the world has ever looked. That isn’t what the Bible teaches.

Just as it has been since the garden of Eden, sin is still our main problem. We could have a lot of different responses to terrible things happening around us: we could post snarky, negative status updates on Facebook, we could get hopeless about how much our society accepts and embraces sin, we could literally or figuratively hide ourselves and our children from outside influences. Or…like the Psalmist, we can weep for them on our knees in prayer, remembering that before Jesus grabbed our hearts we were them and we still need grace ourselves every single day. Then we can set our eyes on the Father who has promised to redeem broken people and a broken world. He’s doing it now, even though we may not always see it. We can give thanks in all circumstances and remember that in God’s sovereignty, “the world’s beauty outweighs its burdens, it’s grace greater than its grime” (Ann Voskamp).

I’ve been praying for a heart like this Psalmist: a heart that cries ‘streams of tears’ over the evil in the world; a heart that jumps to compassion before anger, fear, despair or harsh criticism, a heart that longs for nothing more than it longs for the salvation of hurting people or evil people and for every voice to sing glory to God.

He has done all this for his glory: the cross, forgiveness, Jesus’ robe of righteousness, the promise to redeem the world, the expectation that he will return. This means we love and seek people, build relationships, keep telling them about Jesus and praying for God to change hearts. Salvation is the only remedy for sin, the only hope for a broken world.

Heavenly Father, help us not to lose hope when we look at this world that dishonors you and breaks our hearts. Help us to respond with gospel compassion, longing for change and realizing that it only comes from you. Let this knowledge give us peace, but also renewed energy to tell your story of salvation without ceasing. Thank you for relentlessly pursuing our souls, we weep for the lost and pray that you would grab them up and change hearts of stone to hearts of flesh, all for the glory of your name. Amen

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