Turmoil :: by John Lysaught

We are living in trying times. Events wrapped up in evil are seemingly exponentially worse each week, sometimes each day. These events can cause both excitement and anxiety. I feel both. Yet, we must not forget that until the day of redemption comes, we still have to live our lives to the fullest for Christ while looking up and working through our daily problems, facing our own turmoil to survive in this world.

In John 16:33, Jesus tells us, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Jesus knew humanity as a whole would face trying times and also as individuals. He knows this world isn’t our real home, but only a temporary waypoint on the way to eternity. The world is fallen and yes, we are stuck in it for now. But we have hope of being saved from this planet when God calls us home. We cannot hurry this—nor can we do anything to change this. God works on His own timeline and when it is time, He will move to claim us from the world.

The world as a whole is going through spasms, as the unsaved and evil try to purge followers of Christ from existence, to extinguish our light; but again, Christ overcame the world. Even though we know this, we still struggle with battles to fight through. The world is targeting each of us and uses our weaknesses and other pressures to distract us from our first love—Christ. This can be challenging—but we can overcome and stay steadfast in our relationships with Jesus.

Psalm 119: 134: “Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.”

Followers of God have been oppressed by mankind for thousands of years. It is the same today as it was in years past. The pressure of oppression from Man can cause followers of Jesus to turn away from Him. Oppression is used by the world to keep us down, to turn us from God.

Sin, temptations, idols, money, etc. are used as repressive forces to keep us from getting closer to Christ, and the things we face today are the same as those in the past, they just manifest themselves differently.

Instead of Roman gods, today we have celebrities. We are tempted to seek riches like they have; we call them material things—like expensive cars. We are tempted by the harlots of today—like pornography or other sensual enticements. Our forefathers faced the same turmoil we do today, and because they overcame them, we can too.

We all face turmoil. Some more than others. Sometimes it is spread out and sometimes many problems barrage us all at once. Turmoil doesn’t go away. It seems to keep coming in some fashion or another, right? Maybe it is relationship problems with your spouse. Could it be finances? How about work—a mean boss? Or people treating you different than others because you are a Christian?

Knowing we have these problems does not make them easier to face or deal with, and the comfort of knowing this is all temporary in the scheme of eternity is difficult to grasp in the midst of our problems. Trials are just a way of life. We trust the Lord to take us from these problems one day soon, but what about the here and now?

How do we face the day and tomorrow (if it comes, of course)? We face the challenges of each day through the strength of God!

I won’t go into much detail, but I face tribulations mostly from my health. My health is what it is. God in His grace and mercy keeps me going. When and if He heals me, He will at His good pleasure. I used to be angry at Him, but I’m not anymore. I have good days and mostly bad days but what is constant in my life is God.

My health concerns may change in intensity and frequency, but God is the same today and will be the same tomorrow. He is loving and full of mercy and grace. I accept we live in a fallen world and with it some of us win the lottery of illness or something else, but God is still God.

What I have learned over time is I can lean on God to get me through each and every day, and His mercy is greater than my issues whether it be my health or whatever.

Again, we all face troubles. What I have observed, and through personal experience, is most of the disorders we have in our lives are self-inflicted. We try to blame others, Satan, society, etc. But really—come on now; it is our own doing. Satan didn’t force you to buy the car you can’t afford because you didn’t want to be seen driving that old junker.

The office coworker didn’t force you to the hotel at lunch in secret. Yes, the temptation was presented, but you took the bait. And now, you have chaos in your marriage and your wallet is in the negative. Satan or society can never make us do anything we do that is contrary to God. We do it. We have only ourselves to blame and we have to face the consequences of our own devices.

I know, I know, we are Christians and are not supposed to accuse ourselves of failings, of the situations we find ourselves in. But…remember, we are human, bound up in a fallen world and prone to sin—to do what is contrary to God. This is a battle fought every day. When we let our guard down, we are more likely to trip and fall on our face and blame our failings on something or someone else.

We only have the person in the mirror to look at for this. If we don’t recognize this, we can’t learn, and if we can’t learn from our mistakes, our relationship with Christ becomes stagnant at best or in jeopardy.

Wait. You may say, some things are not our fault but the fault of evil—like being discriminated against because of our faith or being marginalized by society which can cause us to become victims of evil actions. Whether we put ourselves in a predicament or the world is against us, we can rely on God’s mercy.

Look, I can go on and on about turmoil and troubles and problems but really how do we deal with them? First and foremost, we must tune our hearts and ears to the voice of God. That little voice in our hearts from God needs to be tuned and turned up as to be an overwhelming voice of thunder.

It is hard hear to the whisper of a trickling stream in the forest but it is easy to hear the roar of a raging river. We need to attune and train ourselves to have God’s voice rage in our hearts and minds—so when faced with committing a sin or putting ourselves in a not-so-good position, or find ourselves face-to-face with evil people—we can hear God’s guidance.

We just need to listen to His voice for truth. God will not send us astray. He will help us if we allow Him to; just wait, be patient and listen.

We are living in the last days of this known world. Trials and tribulations abound. Turmoil is present and evil surrounds us. The only constant hope we have is the promises of God. If we hold the course, we will reach our destination.

Regardless of what is happening near us or thousands of miles away—God is still God and we are asked to be His ambassadors to others and introduce Christ to those who need Him. The world is using the chaos and troubles of the times to wear us down, so we turn away from our foundational beliefs.

Don’t be fooled brothers and sisters. Stay true to God, lay your worries upon Him, and do the works He wants you to do to further His kingdom.

God bless and stay strong in trust and hope in the Lord.