You see it on television. You read it in surveys. You see it in the eyes of people you meet. Our land is filled with despair, discouragement, and pessimism. The land of the free and home of the brave has massive debt, unemployment, and fear of the future. We don’t know what will happen, but there seems to be no one who has good news.
You certainly won’t hear good news from Washington D.C. – that’s the biggest bunch of partisan, fat cat politicians to ever shame the halls of our nation’s capital. Party lines are more important than people’s lives. Re-election is more important than restoring confidence and pride in this nation and in her families and businesses.
Greed almost destroyed Wall Street. Wanting something for nothing almost destroyed the housing market. Lack of prayer and seeking God for divine intervention will destroy this country. We are obviously, on all fronts, headed for judgment. Nothing could be clearer.
Evil doesn’t just exist; it is multiplying and increasing in speed. With technology we now have the ability to sin on multiple levels that never existed before. With teen gangs roaming the streets of major cities, we don’t have enough cops to deal with the problem.
There could have been some hope. But we’ve aborted so many that the question comes, have we aborted the one who could have led us down a different path?
Did we abort the young woman who would have found the cure for breast cancer?
Did we abort the young man who would have discovered the cure for Alzheimer’s?
We did, in many ways, regarding what could have been, potentially, the next great generation. Today seats are empty in classrooms that would have been crowded if many of their peers had ever been given a chance outside the womb.
Did we abort the one person who would have had the courage to take on the sex trafficking industry?
We’ve killed six times more innocent people than Hitler, and yet we claim to be a moral people.
Why shouldn’t we be pessimistic? Why shouldn’t we just draw the curtains, pull down the shades, and bolt the doors? It’s not the Russians or the Chinese that are coming. It’s God rolling across the land. He brings His judgment to our shores, our rivers, our farmlands, our communities. Yet we do not cry out for Him.
One of the signs of the “last days” is that evil, terror, and disasters will increase like labor pains. As a woman gets closer to giving birth, the pains increase and they get closer and closer together. It’s the indication that the baby is coming.
The judgment of God can’t be aborted. We can’t cut the cord when we feel like it or when it becomes inconvenient or painful. In many ways, the signs and times indicate that we are already under judgment. America’s attitude about all this is pessimism. A recent poll reported in TIME Magazine states that “America is going through one of its longest sustained periods of unhappiness and pessimism ever.”
The article continues, “A country long celebrated for its optimism amid adversity is having trouble finding the pluck and the spirit that have seen it through everything from world wars to nuclear threats to space races.”
Why? I believe it’s because we’ve lost our bearings, our focus, and our faith. Core values are now negotiable. If you don’t believe in black and white, right and wrong, then where do you go? Where do you look for a place to stand?
78% of Americans think it is likely there will be another terrorist attack in the next decade. 41% believe that attack will be homegrown, coming from within. 68% see the last decade as a decade of decline for the United States. 47% say this past decade was “one of the worst” in comparison with decades over the past 100 years (remember that would include two world wars, the Great Depression, and the Cold War). 66% believe “the greatest threats to long-term stability in the U.S. come from within the country.” 52% say “when children today in the U.S. grow up, they will be worse off than people are now.”
Add to this the depravity and vulgarity that is found in most “entertainment”, and you can see why it’s easy to be pessimistic. If you want to throw in a few other facts, Google the number of tornadoes, massive earthquakes, and tsunamis in the last ten years and compare that number to the past 100 years. The increase and severity is staggering.
Is there any hope? I believe there is, but it might not come in the way we hope. Habakkuk complained about what was happening to Judah and the coming invasion of the Chaldeans. He complained to God about them and wondered why God wasn’t acting. God’s answer surprised the prophet. God was the source, the reason, and the cause of the Chaldeans coming to invade His covenant people. God’s people had trivialized God, worship, and His Word and they were going to pay the price. Israel had already fallen, but there was no repentance by Judah. Now Judah would fall into captivity.
God was, in fact, using a more evil nation to judge a nation less evil. I believe judgment is coming. I’m not optimistic about the prospects of America surviving the economic and agricultural and political scourge we are going to have to endure. I am optimistic that if the people of God will get desperate enough and begin to seek the God of heaven, we could see a turning of the tide.
God is looking for a repentant people. He is looking for a people who “understand the times” and know what to do. We won’t avert this coming judgment by wringing our hands or even changing the hands of power in the capital. Our only hope is to fall on our knees, or as Habakkuk did, go to our watchtower and see what God has to say and how we should respond.
In the midst of coming judgment, Habakkuk said, “The just shall live by faith.” So, if I’m just, even when it would be easy to live by fear, I must choose to live by faith. God is in control, I’m not. I can trust Him. In fact, He is the only one I can trust in who will not let me down or ever leave me or forsake me.
(*For more thoughts on this, I’m preaching a series called CONTROL, which is a study of judgment as seen in the eyes of Habakkuk. I’m still in the series, but when it is finished you can order it in our bookstore at www.sherwoodbaptist.net/bookstore.)