The world is not safe. It’s true. And it’s probably something you have already figured out on your own. Or, at least, you’re starting to realize that more and more everyday. Who can’t help thinking about how dangerous the world is when everyday we are bombarded with news about death and famine and sex trafficking; everywhere we see images of devastation and war and pain.
Everything seems like it’s ready to fall apart at any minute. There is heartache and corruption in every corner of the earth and the problems that plague humanity seem enormous—world hunger, tsunamis, genocide, terrorism, lack of natural resources. Not to mention that all this big huge stuff that the world is dealing with is piled on top of your life and your parents being stressed or gone and friends leaving or you having to move again. Then there’s school and college coming at you with life and choices and mistakes and failure all looming over you! How can you possibly be expected to handle all this instability with faith, hope, and love when you’re not even sure you can survive it?! There are some answers that God offers because he understands; so dig in to find out more.
When I first went to college, I got so excited about my classes. I was amazed at the way my justice class applied to my psychology class and those two were relevant to my literature and history classes also. My whole perspective of the world began to shift and widen. I understood in a new way that everything in the world’s history led to or influenced everything else in some way or another. The whole universe was connected and it flowed and moved in tandem.
It clicked many of the truths I already knew into place and I couldn’t get enough of it! But soon I became overwhelmed by the enormity of this world’s problems. The corruption of government and people’s hate-mongering appears in every chapter of history. War, rape, murder, orphans, disease, famine, and earthquakes have all happened over and over for years upon years. The pain and the brokenness and the absolute instability of the world crashed in on top of me and I almost couldn’t breathe. I was so overcome.
In the midst of all that pain and brokenness and ugliness, Jesus came down to earth and taught us how to live with love—to respond to the hate and malice of the world with words of his love and promises of peace. How bizarre is that? Rather than fighting or hiding or anything else, he asks us to commit ourselves to living a life focused on bringing his kingdom to earth.
It was really in my freshmen “intro” class that every student had to take their first semester that I found God’s answer on how to handle this unsafe world. This class was all about how to study and be healthy and survive in college and it was easy to brush it off and sleep through it. But the basics they took us through are the essential pieces of living a healthy and God-honoring life! Some of it we cover in “Life—It’s a Balancing Act,” like how to keep a healthy balance of growth and nurture for your body, mind, and heart.
What really stuck out to me, though, was that God tells us really simply how to handle the world’s instability in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.”
That’s it! It’s such a basic truth, but putting it into action day in and day out is a major challenge, especially in this unstable and constantly shifting military life! But the truth remains that having a foundation of faith in Jesus Christ and submitting to his lordship over your life is the true way to find stability in this unsafe world. By acting in faith and with commitment to bringing about God’s kingdom on earth in order to restore this broken world, we will not only find strength and resilience in the face of the world’s uncertainty, but we will act as God’s messengers of hope and love to those who still don’t know there is an answer to their brokenness.
God gives us each a choice on how we will live our life. That’s really the crux of this issue. Scripture clearly tells us that the pain and brokenness of the world will continue to exist until the second coming of Jesus Christ. It is only by transforming the whole world and restoring it to its original state that it will ever be truly stable again. So what you have to figure out is whether you are going to remain broken and unstable just like this unsafe world or if you’re going to choose to follow God and be transformed through faith in Jesus Christ.
Scripture: Deuteronomy 30:15–20
- What do you think is your biggest obstacle keeping you from following Romans 12:2?
- Do you think living according to God’s standards and not the world’s is a good idea?
- What do you think about living as a ‘witness?’ Do you believe you can really make an impact on the world?
- If the world will never be free from pain and instability until the return of Jesus, why do you think it matters how we live our lives?
- If you have already committed your life to following Jesus, how have you already begun to experience being transformed by God?
- Do you think being transformed makes it easier to handle the instability of an unsafe world?
- How else have you experienced God’s presence and help in the past?
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Father God, I believe that you created this whole world, and that you created us too. I know that we turned away from you long ago and since then everything has been so screwed up. The world is unstable and everything is just falling apart—I’m falling apart! Help me handle this. Help me know what it means to live a life honoring you. I believe that following Jesus is the only way to find true life, and I believe that one day he will return to make this world new; but in the meantime, can you please help me? I’m so overwhelmed with the enormity of the world’s brokenness, and I just need your help knowing how to respond. I trust you! In the Name of Jesus our Lord, Amen.