As interested observers and students of the world scene try to absorb and digest all the conflicting information that comes their way, a profound sense of hopelessness grips some, and feelings of hostility and aggression are stirred in others. There is a sense for most people that things are not going to turn out well.
Information overload can become an oppressive burden. Pick a field of interest, be it political, environmental, agriculture, homelessness, economic uncertainty, massive immigration, public health, or education. Each of these important subjects has a subset of problems and antagonists with differing opinions, often passionately disagreeing on the causes and solutions. The problems seem obvious, yet real answers or solutions are elusive, and the only response seems to be greater public hostility and social unrest.
You see it on the street, where tempers are short and some resort to road rage or feel the need to demonstrate publicly—sometimes violently—to make their point or to be heard. As people go about their daily lives, questions and issues for which they have no real answers leave them feeling unfulfilled and deeply concerned about their country and their future. Much of this is not new, but it seems to be more intense and divisive than in times past.
A big part of this feeling of unease and concern is that behavioral norms are collapsing. What was considered perversion and abhorrent behavior a few years ago is now considered a civil right. Gender confusion has roiled the public square as school systems, business and government entities deal with the demands of the many groups, though small, who demand their “rights.” The courts are clogged with litigation as people sue to make their case or to seek damages because of perceived discrimination.
The legalization of marijuana for medicinal and recreational use is another issue that foments strong feelings on both sides of the issue. Street violence, mass shootings and gun control are unsettling and contentious issues that go on unabated.
Under this crushing load of intractable problems, where does one go for answers or for guidance and instruction? The best source is not widely recognized today. The Holy Bible, which is God’s instruction book for mankind, contains timeless wisdom for those willing to search it out. It contains not only God’s plan of salvation for mankind, but also practical, useful advice and counsel on personal relationships and business matters. The Book of Proverbs is a great place to go for such instruction. The Psalms contain great inspirational messages. And, of course, the words of Jesus Christ and the Apostles are as useful and meaningful today as when they were written centuries ago.
King David, who had great success and great difficulties in his life wrote, “Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity… Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret—it only causes harm” (Psalm 37:1, 7–8).
As Jesus explained to his disciples what to expect in the end times he said, “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these thingsmust come to pass, but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6).
The Apostle Paul, who lived in very stressful times, wrote these comforting words to the Church of God congregation in Philippi: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7). How is this possible you might ask? It is made possible by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God uses to accomplish His will. Jesus promised the disciples that He would send the “Comforter” referring to the Holy Spirit (John 14, King James Version). He did send it on the Day of Pentecost in 31ad (Acts 2).
If you are interested in finding help to find peace of mind in your life in these troubled times, our booklets The Bible: Fact or Fiction and What is a True Christian? will be very helpful for you. You can also check out the telecast “Success in times of Stress” for more practical aid in facing the challenges of modern life.