Writing to followers of Jesus in Rome, the Apostle Paul penned these words: "For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now."
Doesn't that seem to express what we see in the world around us these days? Our world is filled with pain and suffering. Just consider what we see around us - disease pandemics, wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, war and conflict, terrorism, economic uncertainty, societal breakdown, political unrest and strife, and so much more. It's enough to drive people into fear and despair. Many are there now.
For followers of Jesus, however, we must keep things in perspective. This world is not all there is. We know that. However, most people have only a wishful hope that somehow we can solve all these problems and usher in world peace and prosperity. But in this age it will never happen. The reason is sin in the human heart.
People are rebels. And we see this so clearly in the United States, a nation which has been blessed with liberty and prosperity as no other nation on earth. We have turned away from the God who made us, rejected his Word, and despised his precepts, in order to go our own way. Yet our hearts are empty and we are unsatisfied, so we try to fill that emptiness with those things that never satisfy. Not until Christ returns and establishes his kingdom will peace and prosperity reign. Until then, our only hope is in Jesus and what he has done to redeem us from our sins and save us from their terrible consequences. It is in him that hope gives way to confidence, no matter what the circumstances. Followers of Jesus can have the peace of God in the midst of any storm. He will see us through to the end and beyond.
In that letter to the Roman believers, Paul also wrote these words: "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."
Fear not. God is with us. Hold fast and stand firm, Christian.