“So [Jesus] said, “When you pray, say, Father, Reveal who you are.
Set the world right.”
Luke 11: 2, MSG
God’s view of “right” is sometimes different than our view of “right.” We think we know what’s best and we pray for that to come to fruition. But when it doesn’t come to pass the way we think it should, we toy with the notion that maybe God isn’t for us. When we see devastation around us, we think God’s not really for the world.
Why would He let so many bad things happen to me? To the ones I love? To people all around the world? Is there any hope it will ever get better?
And if we let things like this fill our minds continually, we land in a dreadful place: Why pray at all?
Here are the foundational truths: God didn’t create a broken world. Man took what was perfect and succumbed to temptation, introducing evil. But because of God’s great love for us, He promises that everything meant for evil would in some way be redeemed for good. Redemption is made possible through Jesus, the Light. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
The problems are accentuated—hopelessness is accentuated—when we focus on the darkness instead of the light. We can easily miss out on the incredible ways God is working if we choose only to peer into what is wrong. We do not deny that our problems exist, but we want to keep front and center in our hearts the knowledge that God is a big enough God to handle it all—in His ways and in His timing, all linked with our prayers and obedience. He is always working to set things right, in our own hearts and in the world.
The truth is, we live in a world that capitalizes on despair. As a church, we get to respond with hope and let people know that suffering is not the end of our story. Light always wins in the end.
Where have you seen Light (Jesus) shining from the dark places in your life? In the world? At Northpoint?
How can focusing on these lights motivate and intensify your prayer life?
Jesus, keep me focused on your Light so I might have your perspective when the problems of this world overwhelm me. Help me to be a light in dark places so people know there is always hope. Amen.