Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Growing up in the last century, I never gave too much thought about who I trusted for news, for facts, for governance, for medical advice, for food production, for economic statistics, for consumer products. One of the great things about America is that we are chock full of institutions, bodies, agencies and boards to oversee what various industries and organizations are doing and saying. I trusted the institutions and never gave it much thought, secure in the inference that they were working for the common good, and that the government or the free press would call them out when and if they crossed a line.
The 21st century seems to have turned that all on its head. In an era of unprecedented access to information and knowledge, institutions, government and Truth itself have come under tremendous scrutiny. Add to that actual 'disinformation campaigns' by various groups and nations meant to fuel conspiracy theories and sway public opinion, and suddenly we find ourselves being blown about like a ship without a rudder. Who can we trust? The Great Recession of 2008 erroded our trust of financial markets and banks. Numerous food contaminations and animal illnesses cause us to doubt the safety of our food. Flint, Michigan's water crisis and numerous corruption scandals have made us wary of trusting local government. Dietary recommendations seem to change daily and have been influenced by food manufacturers. Elections have been influenced by foreign nations, corporate interests and large campaign donors. 'Facts' are challenged daily by competing News organizations. Pundits are popping up everywhere. Facebook friends who were Constitutional scholars during the last crisis have now suddenly become Infectious Disease experts in light of the next crisis. The amount of information flying at us has increased to a cacophony which has lost any meaning in the noise. How do we make sense of all the news, statistics, recommendations, instructions and warnings flying at us daily?
Perspective. Take a deep breath and realize that truly thoughout human history there has always been plenty to worry about. There have always been threats to our health, safety and life. We're more aware of them now, but life has never been safe for humans on earth, except perhaps in the Garden of Eden. Nonetheless, life is safer and better worldwide as a whole than it ever has been. And if we stop focusing on what to worry about, we will open ourselves to see all there is to be thankful and grateful for!
Prophesy. Realize that Old Testement prophets and Jesus himself as well as the Book of Revelation foretell a time of tribulation. Before Jesus returns, things on Earth are going to get increasingly worse including more natural disasters, wars, societal breakdown and increasing immorality. This should make us more determined than ever to spread the Good News of God's salvation through Jesus. And when it's over we get a thousand years of peace!
Power. Okay those first two can be kind of depressing. But God has it all under control. He is sovereign. We DON'T know what our future holds, but we DO know who holds our future: God! The same God who made the universe is still in control of His creation. He has lovingly and generously given us His Word, the Bible, and it is chock full of blessed assurances that He is in control. Over and over again he promises to care for us, and commands us to be free from anxiety and fear. Our job is to pray, pray, and pray some more, and then go out and tell people the Good News of Jesus and how He's made a way for us to be saved from Death and Destruction.
Paradise. And if we are believers, then we need to make our peace with the fact that Earth is not our home. We are only temporary visitors here on a brief mission to serve God and point people to Jesus. If we lose our lives, we gain Heaven, and c'mon, that place 'over the rainbow' is far better than Oz! We'll spend eternity with Jesus and the angels and all those who found salvation in Christ. No more illness, no financial instability, no elections, no corruption, only eternity surrounded by love and light!
Don't trust in gold, silver, your own insight and instincts, the world's governments, science or crystals. Trust in the Lord who is the same yesterday, today and always. Trust in His Word which never changes, and brings us fresh insight every day. Hold fast to the Rock of your Salvation which stands firm no matter the winds of change or the storms of life.
Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,
“I will never fail you.
I will never abandon you.”
So we can say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper,
so I will have no fear.
What can mere people do to me?”
Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.