What path are you on?
Social trends are challenging, and the effects are in statistics. Domestic violence, depression and suicide levels are up. Exposure to violence or sensuality extends to most media. It is available on demand at any age. Creativity among children is decreasing as screen time dramatically increases on cell phones and other devices. The public and some government views of morality are getting farther and farther away from biblical fundamentals, so celebration and acceptance of various forms of immorality introduce heightened pressures to children or families. Naturalism is increasingly dominant so that expression of a Creator is now considered unpopular or unbelievable. The current century shows several nations ruled by despots who are hungry to keep power or extend it at any cost. Uncivil behavior in democratic nations is producing an increasing level of lawlessness, and many leaders often reflect the same attitudes. The effects of the pandemic during the last two and a half years continue to be felt across the world, and they have exacerbated social pressures.
How do we cope? Not well according to reports and studies.
If you do not have a relationship with God and do not have His peace, what can you do? Turn from your way and want God’s way. Acts 17:26-27, among many other verses, expresses this:
“And he [God] made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him.”
Matthew 7:13-14 recognizes that the way to life in God is not popular:
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Hungry for identity and to know your Creator? He can be found, but it is on a narrow way.
How does the Christian cope? The answer is mixed. I recently participated in some church activities in another state. The believers that have a living relationship with Jesus Christ (not just a mental ascent or from reading a few verses twice a year) are doing well, even if under duress. Their peace is evident enough so that friends, who are not Christian, take notice. Others, whose relationship with Jesus Christ is not very active, are not doing so well. All people have storms to deal with. It is more of a question, as Matthew 7:24-27 points out, whether there is a firm foundation underneath. That foundation, of course, is a living relationship with Jesus Christ, who paid the price for our sins and has the power to deliver us from them as we walk through life.
So, we live in a fallen world where there is much sin. Trends today are not unlike the trend expressed in Genesis 3-6, where evil increased until the Lord halted it with a worldwide flood. 2 Peter 2-3 describes the coming of the Day of the Lord, but it cites those early chapters of Genesis as similar. The culture today is similar.
What is the today’s believer to do? Stand strong, which means to hold to the Bible as we walk out our relationship with God. The mandates to share the Good News, love God, and love our neighbor as ourselves, have not changed. So, follow the biblical guidance. Guard yourself and your children well. Young and old believers, be wary of the patterns of this world. Testify of His goodness and grace that is available to save us and our neighbors from sin. Do not approve or participate in activities that are commonly warned against in the Bible.
There is a path to life and life eternal. The plain simple words of John 3:16 express this.
“ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. “