“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”—Isaiah 41:10 (NIV).
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…”
So begins “A Tale of Two Cities,” written by Charles Dickens, a prolific British author. Published in 1859, this historical novel takes place during the French Revolution. If you reread Dickens’ opening paragraph, you might think he was describing today’s world.
In a sermon by Pastor John Piper, he said, “The same is true today: It is the best of times and the worst of times. Perhaps this is true at every point in the history of a God-ruled, sin-pervaded world. It was true in 1859, and it is true today.”
He will not leave you or forsake you.
Since the beginning of creation and the fall of Adam and Eve, our world has been defined by the best of times and the worst of times. As the author of Ecclesiastes wrote in the first chapter, verse nine, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
Recently, a 14-year-old Owasso, Okla., student, J.J. Willis, made the news with a poem he wrote and recorded inside his mother’s minivan where it was quiet. The poem was inspired by the current political atmosphere stirring up hateful arguments—even among Christians—across social media.
In his video, Willis said “We’re all proud and arrogant, and we believe we’re always right. Things should be different.”
Yes, things should be different. Study history, however, and you’ll find the author of Ecclesiastes was right. While the years may change the landscape of our environment, people remain the same.
How can we, as Christians, make the best of the worst of times? Deuteronomy 31:6 promises that God will never abandon us, no matter the circumstances. “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
I find those words comforting, don’t you? Even when the world seems to be falling apart at the seams, we can stand on the promises of God to see us through.
During the good times and the bad, we can find comfort in God’s promises found in His Holy Word. That’s why I start my day with Him and the Bible. Reading through scripture brings hope in this fallen world. It reassures me that whether I am going through or have been through or anticipate going through difficult times, my Heavenly Father is beside me.