Hope for Living: In times of trouble, turn back to the Lord

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John Wakeman is pastor of Greenfield Faith Church.

This world has plenty of problems and challenges. We have tensions and divisions in our country. We see uncertainties and conflicts all around us. Only God knows how long we will live in this upside-down world before things get better.

We have prayed for peace, healing and restoration, and God has graciously answered some of our prayers. Are these prayers enough? Are we praying for the right things collectively as a society? Is God punishing us?

God gives us the right to choose either His ways or our ways. In Romans 1:24-28, God “gave them over” to their sinful desires, and they lived with the consequences.

We know God doesn’t cause bad things to happen, but He does allow them in this broken, sin-fallen world. Sometimes God will use these problems to get our attention and draw us back to Him. Other times, God may use turmoil to discipline His people. God will use all hardships to bring good results (Romans 8:28). We can trust that God will be with us through all difficulties, if we will ask him.

God can be counted on as the cure. God will restore our lives as he did in 2 Chronicles 15. In verse 3 we see that God’s people were not close to Him and weren’t following His law. Verse 4 says that in their distress, they turned to the Lord and were restored to a right relationship with their Creator.

Our country does seem to have lost its way. We have become so materialistic that we have replaced God with things that have become idols in our lives. Our jobs, hobbies, money and material things can take the priority in our lives that only God deserves. God alone is sovereign, and He will have no rivals.

Many of us want to interpret God’s commandments to suit our desires. In this “me first” world, why wouldn’t God withhold some of His blessings? We have taken prayer out of many institutions. We have little regard for life, and we don’t love our neighbor as we should. We have tried to legislate many moral issues that are an offense to God. People want only what feels right to them.

This isn’t about feelings or opinions. We must trust that only God has the absolute truths we need.

We tend to want to formulate God’s laws as if they were up for debate and a majority vote. God has clearly addressed every issue we face in life in His Holy Word. The Bible is inerrant and infallible. If we read anything into Scripture that isn’t there, we are saying God isn’t God, we are!

Follow God because He is faithful and just. We should pray for God to rule and reign in our lives, in our country, and in the world. Surrender to God and submit to Him. If we turn to God, He will hear our prayers and He will heal our land.

John Wakeman is pastor of Greenfield Faith Church. This weekly column is written by local clergy members.