While we enjoy a higher degree of comfort than any generation before us, it is also evident that we face hard times. Government corruption, economic instability, religious apostasy, and sexual degeneracy are abundant. In the midst of these hard times, your duty as a Christian is to be joyful despite the various cultural sorrows we face. However, a distinction should be made. Being joyful in the midst of clown world doesn’t mean that you just adopt the ethos of an eternal optimist: naive, gullible, but with a toothy grin all while things deteriorate around you. This joy which we are summoned to by the Gospel isn’t a joy of obliviousness, it’s an anchor.
You can flee from the terrors. That is the coward’s way. You can sulk in a corner. That’s the complainer’s way. You can give way and join the madness. That’s the compromiser’s way. Or you can joyfully give thanks in all circumstances, for all circumstances. That is the Christian’s way.
Cowering, complaining, & compromising are all false promises to lead you out of the misery. Gratitude to God–for the forgiveness He gives to You through Christ, for the mercy He’s shown toward your sin, for the abundant life He has sealed to you by the Spirit–is the only way to make it through the fog of trials, into the fields of everlasting joy.
Christian joy enables you to face hard times and emerge from them more like Jesus. This is true no matter what news story comes out this week as another proof of our national fabric unravelling. So, be diligent in the tasks God’s given you. Pay no heed to the conniving of evil-doers. After all, they’re like grass. While the Word, this Word which we preach & feast upon each Lord’s Day, is the Word that begets everlasting trees of righteousness.
Through Christ You pour out upon us eternal joy and everlasting grace, enough to supply us strength in every trial, courage in every dark valley, bright hope in the deepest valley. Yet too often we give way to various temptations to complain, cower, or capitulate. This is a great shame, for You are our God, and You are not thwarted, or terrified, or trembling before any of Your enemies. Forgive us for both the guilt of the ways we avoid walking in courage, and the shame of doing so, considering we have such a God as you. Be merciful unto us for we bring to you now all our various sins and failures, for we know there is no other God like you, a God who forgives repentant sinners.
The solution to our cultural woes is not political or economic or educational. The solution is repentance. Humbling ourselves before God, confessing our sin to Him, and then walking in uprightness of heart is the path of courage, which will bear fruit in all spheres of life.