Everywhere we look around us there is brokenness, hurt, pain, trouble, despair, sorrow, and grief. Everyday we hear new stories of family and friends suffering the trials of living in a fallen world ... sickness, death, financial ruin, betrayal, unfaithfulness, tragedy, broken relationships, etc. Just over the last few days I've spoken with friends who have been seriously wounded by hurtful words, deceitful business practices, careless comments, injustice, emotional abuse, and bitterness. Even a casual glance at the evening news shows us the destructive fruits of hatred, division, anger, prejudice, greed, and misinformation. The onslaught of wickedness seems to have no end in sight and we're becoming weary of the daily grind.
But God in His grace also gives us glimpses of the way things ought to be ... of how they will be when Christ returns again in all His glory! If you had the privilege of being in worship this past Sunday with our brothers and sisters in Christ from FMBC Moody you got a glorious peek at how the Gospel eradicates ethnic and social barriers. I heard a friend say that in the midst of receiving some devastating news that he knew God was with him and would care for him. Today Adria Ellis is up and walking with a walker after some major surgery only a few days ago. A friend was blessed with encouraging financial news after being completely betrayed by his business partner. Another friend found true grace and comfort after being cursed out by an angry co-worker. All these things are just small previews of the grace we will enjoy in all its fullness in glory.
No matter how dark it gets there is always that small flickering light that is never (can never be) extinguished. That light is the light of Christ. That light penetrates even the deepest, darkest night and gives hope when there seems to be none. That light is the hope we have knowing that even though we are wretched sinners Jesus Christ lived the life we should have lived, died the death we should have died, and rose from the grave to give us new life ... life eternal ... life that finds real joy in Christ rather than circumstances.
My heart hurts for the friends I've spoken with recently who have these incredibly difficult problems. They have and are experiencing things I hopefully will never have to face. I pray that they, too, catch a glimpse of God's amazing grace found in Christ alone. Do you also have such friends who are hurting? Could you and I be signposts that point others to the grace our Father so freely offers?