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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

July 25, 2014

Renewing our strength

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

As God's called out ones, we are not to be of the world, but we live in the world (John 17:15-16). However, living in the world does not mean that we are immune to what happens around us. Today's world can be a discouraging place.

Conflicts raging in northern Iraq and in the Gaza strip threaten the stability of an entire region. News reports are filled with heart-rending images of wounded civilians, including many children. People who left Amsterdam on a plane bound for Asia never knew what hit them as their flight ended abruptly over eastern Ukraine, leaving friends and relatives distraught. This week's news included images of thousands of Dutch people paying their respects to their countrymen returned home for identification and burial.

We live in a cynical age – a time in history when so many are pessimistic about the future. It seems everywhere you look there are major problems, contributing to a sense of hopelessness seen often in today's world. What is there to be optimistic about, many people might ask?

And living in the world, we, too, can be affected by what happens around us, discouraged by the news, even wondering about the future. However, instead of being influenced by the world and its standards, we are to be a light to the world. We have a knowledge of the future that others do not have. Paul explained it in Acts 23:6 when he stated "concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!" Our faith and confidence is not in any solution that man devises, but in the sure promises of God.

And God has promised that there is a better world coming! God's message is a message of comfort for His people – and all the world (Isaiah 40:1). What is the source of that comfort? "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken" (verse 5).

Since "it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast" (Hebrews 6:18). We are to share that hope with the world via the gospel message, bringing it to the world via our publications. As a church we need to likewise have that zeal and enthusiasm for the coming Kingdom of God renewed in us constantly.

And the sure knowledge of Christ's return, anticipating it, is a source of strength, hope and encouragement: "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31).

Yes, dark days do lie ahead for our world, but the gospel message of Jesus Christ shows that there is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel!

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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