When I am a guest on radio shows, the hosts will commonly ask me, “How do Christians reduce their anxieties in the turbulent and violent world we live in?” My answer is always two-fold: have faith, and control what you can control. These are simple answers with complex steps of execution.
The world is inundated with violence. There are mass shootings almost weekly. Oilfields are bombed in the Middle East. Christians throughout the world are losing their rights and in some cases their lives.
Corporate greed reached a new high at Purdue Pharma, which created an opioid crisis that costs more than fifty thousand American lives and nearly one hundred billion dollars a year.
Meanwhile, our politicians are locked in a death struggle to see who can make their opponent look worse. Political leaders often earn millions of dollars from questionable behavior, while the average American struggles to pay their bills.
It is easy to see why most Americans are exhausted and dismayed. They see no hope for their future. They wonder where God has gone.
But I say, “Have Faith!” God hasn’t gone anywhere. We all should be still. God is working behind the scenes to give us a future filled with hope. I am often asked how I can be so sure. Well, it’s because history has shown me to trust God.
The forces of evil will always exist, yet God will always win. Remember, in the not too distant past, ISIS emerged to threaten the people of the Middle East and, for a brief moment, they succeeded. Only to be subdued.
A few decades ago, three countries tried to take over the world: Italy, Germany, and Japan. At the beginning, success looked bleak. Only Great Britain and the United States were left to defend the rest of the world. Initially, we lost most of the battles and only later begin to succeed. Evil eventually lost.
There were plagues during medieval times that wiped out more than half the population of Europe. They have recovered, stronger and brighter.
God doesn’t create evil; God solves evil. That is the lesson of history and where we should place our faith.
Also remember, that missing from the headlines, is much of the good that is being done in the world. Americans continue to reach out to their neighbors throughout the world, providing life-sustaining assistance to those in need. Young people continue to fight against oppression in the armed forces and bravely stand against evil.
Back home, Americans are still helping their neighbors through wonderful organizations like the American Red Cross and Catholic charities.
The national headlines might portray a divided and weakened nation, but we are not. It is not the elite who are saving us; it is God and the everyday person.
We should also turn our eyes to controlling what we can control—to become ripples of goodness in the lake of despair. Develop a faith life that turns our eyes away from desperation and fills our hearts with a desire to do only good.
In my new book, Your Faith Has Made You Well, I detail the lessons of faith of everyday people. It is a journey of faith describing how others rose above adversity and connected with Christ to heal themselves. These stories tell of how disaster can become beacons of light for others to follow.
The one thing that we can do when we see wrong is to develop a faith that we can fight back. Maybe not on a grand scale, but each small step we take will merge with others and become a powerful force.
Each time we try to do what we can, we start to make things possible. Soon we will be accomplishing the impossible. Each act of Christian faith that helps others helps the world and collides with other acts which begin to form a tidal wave of hope. In this way, faith will move us from being desperate watchers to becoming powerful participants.
Your Faith Has Made You Well shows how to learn to control what we can control and become soldiers in the fight against the evil that exists in the world.
The headlines will send us into despair when we do not act. That inaction creates a silence that gives permission for evil to continue. It is our own actions and faith that gives us strength. Faith that, through God, we have a chance. Faith that evil will not succeed. Faith that helps develop a humble and resolute heart.
Dr. Bruce L. Hartman is a Christian author and Storyteller. He is a former Fortune 500 CFO who left the corporate world to engage in a ministry of “Connecting the Lessons of the Gospels to Modern Life.” His life’s mission is “Helping People Walk into a Brighter Future.”
Visit him at www.brucelhartman.com