The World Held Captive
It is impossible to turn on the news, open your social media page, or listen to the radio (do people still listen to the radio…?) without hearing something tragic and heartbreaking.
No one can deny the fact that this world is under the rule of Satan’s evil hand. The gospel of John describes the lord of darkness as one who comes to, “kill, steal, and destroy.” He comes in the form of a natural disaster, claiming the lives of thousands. He uses powerful drugs to dominate people’s minds, destroying themselves and the lives of those around them. He is the mastermind behind mass shootings and terrorism. He is shrewd, cunning, manipulative, and wants to take everything from us.
The World Envisioned with Hope
John then goes on to say that Christ came that we might have abundant life. How can we have an abundant life in the midst of all this disparity and chaos? Flip past a few books in the Bible to…
2 Corinthians 4
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
Man, oh, man. Jesus warned us that we would have trouble and hardship in this world, but He did not leave us without the hope of His redemption. In that hope, I do not have to lose heart. In that hope, I know there is already victory. For Jesus comforts us again saying,
“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.”
Lord, Thank you for the Hope we have in you.
Lord, Forgive us for how quickly we forget what we have in our little jars.