By ZOE CANNON
GRATITUDE FOR THE GIFT OF FAITH
We are living in unprecedented times of chaos and confusion in the world. What does it mean to be in the world, but not of the world? Jesus taught with parables and stories of miracles to provide us with examples of how to live in the world.
We do not need more solutions to the issues of poverty, mental health and diseases that make people dependent on human resources. We need people to know Jesus! We need a conversion of the heart and forgiveness of sin! Jesus prepared his disciples before he ascended into the Kingdom of Heaven by telling them he was going to leave them an advocate in the Holy Spirit of God. The support and counsel of the Holy Spirit empowered them to teach the truth. This same power is given to us!
Before his Ascension, Jesus provided hope for those who loved him. “But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth; it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned” (John 16:7-11).
Solutions to our societal problems should be rooted in the message of salvation, not with political and social liberation. When we stand in truth we will meet with opposition, but Jesus says, “Do not be afraid.” Our culture is wrong about the truth of sin because people do not know Jesus, and they often fear others more than God. Fear is more powerful when our expectation of help is unclear. “Fear is nothing but the failure to use the help that reason gives. When you lack the confidence to rely on reason, you give in to the fears caused by ignorance” (Wisdom 17:12-13).
Our world has faced terrorism in the physical sense with attacks, kidnappings, destruction and loss of human life. We often don’t acknowledge spiritual terrorism; the invisible bonds of fear, loneliness and despair that enslave us. The minds and hearts of unbelievers are blinded, which keeps them from seeing the light of the gospel. We must always remember to pray for the unchurched! The forces of darkness are all around us, and we must not allow the vision and influence of Christianity to fade away. We see clearly that the dreadfulness of sin is no longer concealed under the guise of respectability, instead, it blatantly seeks to destroy all that God has created.
The love and witness of saintly people has delivered the gospel message of Christ throughout history. We need people to be soldiers in the battle between good and evil today. The world is wrong concerning ways to seek justice. The word justice means vindication, and there is no justice separate from the blood of Christ. God raised Jesus from the dead to vindicate his obedience unto death. Our obedience to the Father can change the world we live in too, because the Spirit of the living God dwells within us! The body of Christ — the Church — each of the baptized is a masterpiece of God’s work, and capable of loving and serving one another through the power of the Holy Spirit! The same power that raised Jesus from the dead!
Obtaining holiness in this world is challenging. When you get discouraged, seek prayer in the realm of God’s world and peace will follow! Amen!