That title might seem a little odd to those of us living in the USA. I can't remember a year with as many difficult, horrible events as this past year. From the racial conflicts in our country, to the Ebola crisis, to International instability, etc. . . . . things can look pretty bleak.
But, the reality of history is that our existence is always moving on two poles. . . . . things are getting worse, but things are also getting better. . . . at the same time. The reason for this is that sin is prevalent and growing, but the Kingdom of God is continuing to grow as well. We think of Jesus' words here when he promised us, "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world." (Jn. 16:33) There it is. . . the world will bring trouble, but Jesus has overcome it.
Even in the physical, visible world, we see progress and growth. Here's a great news piece that shows us what an amazing year we've had, in spite of all the difficulties. With our family's connection to Africa, this was my favorite excerpt:
This helps explain why Bob Geldof’s latest Band Aid single now sounds so cringingly out-of-date. Africans certainly do know it’s Christmas – a Nigerian child is almost twice as likely to mark the occasion by attending church than a British one.
Yes, Bob Geldof put out a new charity single in 2014, helping to raise money for Ebola aid. But, there's irony this time that wasn't there 30 years ago when the original "Band Aid" Christmas song was released. The Gospel has spread into Africa, and (sadly) the church is waning in Great Britain. There it is again, the world having trouble, but Jesus overcoming the World. Be encouraged by this piece: