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Good Changes in Troublesome Times

The world has changed so much in the last few years. It seems sometimes that our lives have been turned upside down. But these disruptions are not all bad. In fact, more and more Christians are seeing good in all this chaos.

We are going back to the basics about history from a Bible perspective. Solomon said there is no new thing under the sun (Ecc. 1:9). That verse has been an anchor for many of us in these turbulent times. At times we feel anxious and ask, “What on earth has happened?” The simple answer that comes back to us from the Bible is: the same things that have always happened. None of this is new.

We are learning to trust God more and men less. Now that the smoke has cleared, people are seeing the pandemic for what it was. Churches are realizing that it was a big mistake to listen to politicians and experts rather than trusting in God. It was not the pandemic itself but the way people responded to it that caused the real spiritual damage. A number of Christians see this now. They are talking about the need for more faith. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart” is the exhortation of the day in many congregations (Prov. 3:5).

We are seeing the great blessing of having unity and fellowship in the church. We understand more than ever how much we need each other. We need encouragement. We need exhortation and correction. We need to assemble together often. Many Christians now truly appreciate the great importance of Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another…” Church members are beginning to value love and harmony because of all the division everywhere. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psa. 133:1).

We are also seeing how evil division is, but at the same time we are realizing that it sometimes serves a purpose. God knew the division in Jacob’s family but he used it for good (Gen. 37; 45:5-8). He saw the division in Israel and used it for a higher purpose (I Kings 12). In the church some division is inevitable and even necessary (I Cor. 5; 11:19). Jesus said that He came to bring this kind of separation (Matt. 10:34-37). God appears to be sifting and separating the wheat from the chaff before our very eyes.

In many cases churches are becoming more evangelistic. Why? What we see every day is opening our eyes to how evil this sin-sick world really is. People are turning away from God and congregations are losing members. Now Christians are waking up. Congregations are becoming more urgent to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). It is sad that this spiritual life or death situation was necessary to get our attention, but it is good that churches are doing something about it.

We have come to believe more strongly that the hand of God works in this world in spite of and even in the midst of all its meanness and confusion. The Most High still rules in the kingdoms of men (Dan. 4:17). Nothing is hidden from Him (Prov. 15:3; Matt. 10:29-31). God is never distracted by the chaos of the world so that He fails to hear the prayers of His children. Nothing ever surprises God because He knows the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:9-11). Have we forgotten that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28)? Instead of getting aggravated or afraid because of all the disruptions in our lives, we should realize that God is working things out for the best.


West End church of Christ bulletin article for March 26, 2023.


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