“There is something rotten in the state of Denmark” and not just Denmark, but the entire world. While we disagree on so many things, there seems to be one subject on which we are all in almost complete agreement. There is something terribly wrong with this place. We all sense that this world is so much less than it should be.
Do you ever look at the world and just feel a sense of despair? Our culture becomes more and more alienated from God. There seems to be no limit the evil and depravity of this world. Sometimes, it’s just too overwhelming. Sometimes, we just can’t understand why God allows some things and how He will ever work good from them. Sometimes, it just seems like this world is just beyond repair. Sometimes, it just seems hopeless and all I want to do is find a place to hide.
I felt this way this morning and it made me turn to something I wrote back in college after going on a mission trip. As I witnessed evidence of the “rottenness” of this world, God reminded me of a few things and He is reminding me of them again today. First, this is not what He originally intended. This is not the good and perfect plan He had for His creation. Secondly, we are the sources of the rottenness. It is because of our trespasses against Him and not the other way around. The irony of it is that we often use the result of our own folly to cast judgment on or deny the existence of Him who created us. Finally, and most important, we do not need to despair because He has a plan to restore His creation which has already reached its climax in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I think we can all feel hopelessness and despair at times, so I wanted to share this with the hope that it will be encouraging to any who need it. Essentially, it is a compilation of scripture that helped puts things into focus. I think it is a good reminder of the full story of the Gospel. Here it is:
“I am the LORD and there is no other. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Before there was man, I AM. With wisdom, I laid the earth’s foundations. I placed the stars in the sky and I call them out by name. At my command, the sun rides forth on its fiery chariot. By my word, the rain falls and the sky lets drop the dew.
With love, I created man. I made him in my image. Each one I knew before there was time. I fashioned them in their mothers’ wombs and their frames were not hidden from me when I wove them together in the secret place. Even now I am acquainted with all their ways and I call them by name.
I have good plans for them, plans of hope and purpose. Yet, they rejected me. They did not honor me as God and so, sin has come in the world and with it, death. My beautiful sons and daughters which I designed and wove together with care, are now marred. My creation lays in ruin. It is like a diseased prostitute. She continues to choose not life, but death and offer herself up to idols. At every turn, there is death and despair. There is no beauty that is not tinged with brokenness, no joy that is not intermingled with sorrow.
Yet even now, amidst all this Death and Destruction, man does not turn back to me. They survey the works of their own hands, the wickedness, the corruption and tragedy, but they do not take up the blame that is their own. Instead, they raise up their fists to me. They charge me with their crimes. They cry out against the evil and injustice that has sunk its teeth and left its poison.
But what of my cry? Do I, the holy and righteous God, not disdain the evil of the hearts of men? These wayward people moan and wail, but is it not I who have been offended by their sin? Yes, and justice will be ever wrought by my hands for the transgressions of men have induced me to righteous wrath.
Yet, I am as merciful as I am just. Mercy and Justice, I weave together in a tapestry that tells of my glory. This is not what I intended. This was not my desire for those I formed with loving care. By their sin, I am as grieved as I am angered. Each one is precious. Each I want to reclaim as my own. And so, I have interposed my blood. I became the sacrifice to pay the price for their sin. I have done this to restore my creation, to redeem my beloved. I have loved with an everlasting love. In me, there is hope and truth. I offer grace. Have I not portrayed my goodness and love in every facet of my creation? Indeed, I have engraved it upon my very palms. There, the story of my love and mercy has been written.
So now, there is another power at work on the earth, not only sin, but grace. Is it not greater? Will it not achieve the work for which I have purposed it? Is it not powerful enough to destroy sin and vanquish evil? The world will be restored. I have spoken and it will stand firm for my Word cannot be moved. I am calling my sheep back to me. I am healing. I am renewing. I am cleansing with my blood and it will atone. I do all this for my name’s sake. I am the LORD and there is no other. All glory in heaven and earth is my due.
So you, my beloved, who have been redeemed, do not despair at what you see here. I have defeated sin and death. I will have the ultimate victory. Take heart, for I have overcome the world. And surely, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.”
So, I hope if you are reading this, that it is a reminder of God’s sovereignty and the future hope that we who are redeemed have, not only for ourselves, but for the world as well. The world may, at times, seem hopeless and beyond repair, but it is not and in fact, the battle for it has already been won. We may not be able to see it, but God is, even now, in the process of redeeming this world. Remember the infinite reach of the Cross. There is no place that it can’t touch, no wound that it can’t heal, no wrong that it can’t right, and no darkness it can’t dispel. God has spoken and He will have the final word.