Who do you trust when things fall apart?

For the Choir director: A psalm of David

The wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings. They shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right.

The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?

But the Lord is in his holy Temple; the Lord still rules from heaven. He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth.

Psalm 11:2-4

It’s probably verses like these that are taken out of context and used to accuse God of being a mean and overly critical teacher who is just waiting to catch you red-handed. Not true. He’s so much bigger and better than we think.

While he does look down on the earth ruling and examining the hearts of all people, he has also made his design, will, and heart for us very clear throughout the Bible. The design for your life and for mine, is a life overflowing with peace and good things (John 10:10; Jeremiah 29:11).

David asks a question here that I think every human has asked at some point. The whole world is falling apart. What are we supposed to do about it?

We can’t police every act of evil, and certainly cannot exact perfect justice. Just consider how many criminals are free and inmates are innocent at this very moment. Only God has the ability to perfectly judge because he can discern the intentions and thoughts of the heart (Psalm 139:1-4; 1 John 3:20).

The deeds of the wicked are indeed out of control. We can’t turn a blind eye but we can’t do any lasting good either. Even if we devoted our entire lives, savings, and efforts toward working for justice, we will inevitably die and some other evil will inevitably come to undo our efforts.

What is the answer then, for those “whose hearts are right” and who desire to see justice in the world?

Recognize the Lord is in control 

Do you truly believe this? If this is difficult to grasp, it may be that you are making the problems bigger than God. I have done this before. Sometimes when you focus on a certain problem and get tunnel vision, perspective is lost. Just because we can’t see or understand, doesn’t mean he doesn’t care and isn’t working. Rather, use this to fuel an impassioned prayer: “God, I don’t understand but I trust that you are larger than all the evil in the world.” After all, if he created it all and upholds it all by the words of his mouth, isn’t he able to handle the deeds of the creatures whose lives are only vapor? (James 4:14; Psalm 39:5).

Do everything you can

The Psalm goes on to say in verse 7, “The virtuous will seek his face.” If you conduct your life in a way that works for peace and justice and you trust God enough to weave your story into the fabric of history for the good of all people, you will be doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. Not only will you have the satisfaction of a life well-lived, you will have peace. And the Bible promises that you will see his face (Psalm 17:15, Matthew 5:9). Then after doing what you can, show your trust by letting God take over.

Reflection

  • Is there something that seems insurmountable in your life?
  • How have you trusted God in that situation?
  • Pray about one thing you can do today that requires trust. Then do it! 🙂