There are a lot of bad and scary things happening in this world.
There are evils and injustices heaped so high that we do a sad sort of dance sometimes, leaping from a calloused and intentional ignorance, to a mortified and desperate fear of the possibilities within evil’s reach, to a burning fury, wanting to cry out, and fight for what is right.
When life stops abruptly to make absolutely certain that you are painfully aware of all that has happened and could happen, it’s difficult to fight off the despair at the state of things in this world.
Take heart. Through Christ, and Christ alone, we have been set free from this despair.
1 John 4:16-19
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.
You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
CW Hymn 588
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide.
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me!
Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me!
Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for ev'ry plea;
Come, Friend of sinners, thus abide with me.
Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me oft as I left thee.
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.
I need thy presence ev'ry passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter's pow'r?
Who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, oh, abide with me!
I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still if thou abide with me.
Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heav'n's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all.
We need not dwell in the despair of sin, because Christ has come to rescue us from a sin filled world.
God is our deliverer, our protector, our healer, and Love himself. His perfect love in dying for us drives out the fear we would have no choice but to dwell in if we did not have a higher purpose, a heavenly home. We need to imitate His Love and show through our speech and our actions that love of Christ, the only hope in a dark world.
Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies!