In my last article I talked about how we should not worry and about experiencing anxiety, given our faith in Jesus Christ and our sure knowledge of the sovereignty of God. I believe worry equates with a less than complete reliance on Jesus as our only true salvation, one that is sure and permanent (if faith and trust are sincere on our part). But I firmly believe our Lord called us to a life of prayer, and I firmly believe that our prayer lives should include prayer about people and events, but in keeping with His commands—these are things we are not worried about.
As our Lord commands us to pray, we can find much in the world to pray about, much to be concerned about:
- I do not believe we need worry about Israel being wiped out of existence as a nation. God has made His promises to Israel clear. They will inherit the land that He has purposed for them, and God does not back out of His promises. He does not change His mind nor can anyone countermand or overcome His will. But we need be concerned about and be praying for the people within Israel, for they are facing danger daily, many are losing their lives in attacks and in defending their land and homes.
- We must remember that God’s chosen people for the most part have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. We know what it means for someone to die not having trusted Christ as their Savior. It should grieve us that it happens every day, and that it happens daily among God’s chosen people. The promises of God to Israel are to the nation, it is clearly a different matter at a personal level. There is plenty to pray about without taking our concerns to the level of worry that would have us disobeying our Lord.
- I do not believe we need worry about the Body of Christ being overcome by world events or even by that great enemy—the prince of the power of the air. (Greater is He who is within us than he who is in the world.) But we do need to be concerned about the increasing level of attacks and persecution of the Body of Christ.
- We need be concerned for each local church Body and the struggles they face. We need be concerned about the increase of false teaching within the church as it has the potential to lead many astray and away from a true, saving belief in Christ. (People who would think they are getting a true gospel message but in fact are falling into the trap of false religion.)
- We need be concerned about the type of soil used for growth by many who think they have a saving faith in Jesus. Has the seed fallen by the wayside, and are they to be carried away by the enemy before they even realize what has happened? Or is it stony soil and they have no depth of belief and easily follow the lie? Could it be a thorny soil choking them with earthly cares? Or is it the good fertile, productive soil of a true saving faith in Christ Jesus? There is plenty to pray about without taking our concerns to the level of worry that would have us disobeying our Lord.
- I do not believe as followers of Christ we need to worry about the events of the world, which seem to spiral more out of control daily, and seem to threaten our personal safety more each day. I do not believe they will sweep us away, taking us to a place the Lord does not want us to be. His purposes are paramount and His will is sovereign. But we do need to be concerned about the spiritual degeneration of our nation—the growing disobedience and defiance of God.
- We here in America are not His chosen ones, there is no guarantee nor need for our nation to survive in any form in order for end-times Bible prophecy to be fulfilled. I see no place for the United States in end-times prophecy. As a seminary professor of mine once said, “We may well be around, but maybe we are a corn on the little toe on one of the feet of the image in Daniel 2:31-33.” Chew on that for a while (the concept, not the corn). There is plenty to pray about without taking our concerns to the level of worry that would have us disobeying our Lord.
I think there is a difference in the biblical concept of joy and the earthly concept of happiness. As believers we are to consider even our trials as joy because of Christ’s assurance, the surety of our eternal destiny. Happiness requires a set of circumstances that are favorable or helpful or pleasing to us individually.
We need be joyous as Christians because of the assurances of Christ as Savior, and not worry. But as believers we need to be unhappy with the present set of circumstances in the world, especially with the implications they hold for the lost, and as such, be concerned.
But no matter what, we know one thing…
Jesus is coming soon!
Even So Come.