When we look at the world today, it's hard not to get really downtrodden by what we see and how bad it seems. There is a housing crisis that is seeing more people homeless than almost any other time in history. Global unemployment is at an all-time high. There is mass unrest in our streets due to civil rights violations and desires for justice reform. Global climate change is causing our summers to be much hotter and our winters to be much colder, all while our ice shelves that are vital to life's existence at all corners of the globe, are melting at neck-breaking rates. Is this really the world that God wants us to live in? How can He see all of this and not be in despair just as we are?
Well, to tell you the truth, this world is not as God planned it to be. That's because we live in a fallen world of sin that is ruled by the Evil One, Satan. Conflict and destruction are his motive and we know this because the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:4 that, "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."Due to sin, Satan was able to take hold of God's perfect world and make it what we see today, but this was never how it was intended to be! In Genesis 1:31 it says, "Then God looked over all He had made, and He saw that it was very good!"God made everything good and without wear or tear; without conflict; and definitely without sin... and even though those things have entered the world, God did not give up on it and all of us! Not at all! He still sees the good in His creation (because after all, He did create it). So, this begs the question: "How do we see the world through God's eyes?"
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT)
God sees more than just what is on the outside. We may see how someone has less than others, does not succeed at many of the things they do, and think that there is nothing good going for that person. God, however, knows whether or not that person is seeking Him, seeking more; or following their path He has guided them to. He does not judge our success on what WE can see in this world and does not judge the world by it.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. – Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)
When we see the state of the world today and all the things that cause turbulence and despair, it can be easy to think that God has left us or simply does not care... but that is not true at all! God is with us always, He cares for each of us unconditionally and fully and because of this, we should not be afraid. These times are hard, but even in our lowest lows, God sees us and guides us through. We are still precious and beautifully made (and that includes everyone in this world, not just the people reading this).
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. – Proverbs 15:3 (ESV)
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. – Hebrews 4:13 (ESV)
This is a twofer because I really do believe these two verses together give us the full picture of what God is trying to tell us. No one can escape God's watchful eye. He sees everything going on and He never sleeps or takes a break because... well, He is God! This means He sees all of the evil in this world, the carelessness, and the cruelty. He also sees all the good; and believe me, there is A LOT of good! He sees the missionaries, the doctors, the nurses, moms and dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, environmental activists, and countless individuals working every single day to make this world a better place. He's not just seeing it though, He's remembering it. The people who do bad, their actions are remembered by God, and the people who do good; well they are definitely remembered as well! The Bible says we will all give an account; so, don't worry if you think that evil is winning out, God's got it taken care of!
For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16 (NLT)
I think I will end with this one, because it's so good, it just might make me cry! If we see the world through God's eyes, we see that through our mistakes, through our carelessness, our sorrow, our good works, and our bad, God loves us SO MUCH. He loved us so very much, that He was willing to give up His perfect, only Son in order that He could adopt us and never be apart from us for the rest of eternity. He was willing to chase us down, even when we had no interest in doing the same for Him, because we are so precious to Him; and even if He has to wait 80 years before we turn and take His hand, His will forever stay outstretched. He loves out beautiful mess and calls it "good".
So, today, when you are looking at the state of the world and your feeling down; remember, it is blanketed in the love of our Creator, good and perfectly imperfect, held tightly for the moment when perfection can be brought forth and made eternal.
Want to join us for our October Reading Plan Challenge? This month, I invite you to join me in a month-long study of the promises of God! Each day, there are short passages to read and meditate on and I will be discussing them live on Instagram each day of the month to help you broaden your understanding of the passages as well as take questions and thoughts from others. Don't forget to follow along on Instagram and join in! Below you will find this month's reading plan to get you started and I hope to see you over on Instagram Live as we make time for God TOGETHER!