Hard Days

  It's a hard day to watch events unfolding around us.  From the tragedy in Nepal, to Baltimore, to our Supreme Court, even in our families. . . to my own heart. . . .It seems that sin is everywhere.  It can seem like the power of sin holds sway.   

  In reformed theology, this is a part of what we mean by "total depravity".  It does not, as some have misunderstood, mean that things are as bad as they could be. Or, that people are as hopeless and sinful as they possibly could be. Total Depravity means that there is no corner of creation and humanity that is untouched by sin. The curse is total. Some days we see that more than others.  

  The Bible is not silent about our condition. Jesus promised us that "in this world you will have trouble"(Jn. 16:33). In Romans (8:22), Paul says that creation is "groaning together in the pains of childbirth" (which helps us process what is going on in Nepal). Jesus' promise to the disciples in the book of John is concluded with "take heart, I have overcome the World".   

  Jesus has overcome!  How do we join in His Kingdom and overcome our trials, temptations, and sin?  The Book of Revelation talks of the victorious church and says:  "And they overcame him (the enemy) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death". The Blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. That is how we overcome, and how we continue to overcome.  

  We come back to the Gospel, of Christ's shed blood for us. . . the spotless Lamb on our behalf. And, the word of the Gospel, our testimony of all that Christ has done for us is a prophetic word into our culture, and into our own hearts, especially in rough times like these. The Truth of all that Christ has done is how we overcome. This doesn't mean governments, courts, rescue organizations, counselors, etc. . aren't used by God.  They are part of his common grace towards us as we live in this fallen world. But, our ultimate and lasting victory only comes through Christ. The only way we can stand firm in our faith and hold fast to our confession. . . .when things are very bleak. . . is through Christ. If you're discouraged today, I hope you'll run to Him.  He has overcome the World.