I am an optimist: with water at the mid-way point in a glass, I don’t see it as merely half full (as opposed to half empty), I see it as mostly full.
But in spite of my extremely optimistic tendencies, even I can’t help being affected by what is going on in the world – whether it’s ISIS enslaving, raping, killing everyone who is not of their brand of Islam, or Hamas’ determination to annihilate every last Jewish person, or the treatment of and killing of unwanted people, be they too old, too infirm, or too inconvenient (through euthanasia and abortion).
Then in my country, scandalous news broke out a few weeks ago concerning a radio celebrity, that has opened up the topic of harassment and abuse of women, and it seems that just about every woman has experienced these things at some level.
How does one handle all this?
My solution is threefold:
1. Read the Bible: the Bible reminds us Who is in control. God told Abraham that his descendants (he didn’t even have any descendants yet) would be slaves in Egypt for 400 years, and then he would deliver them and bring them to the promised land (Genesis 15:13-16). This is exactly what He did. He told them that they’d be dispersed from the land for their disobedience (which they were), and that He would bring them back (which He did).
Then there are all the specific promises/prophecies concerning the Messiah, which have been fulfilled (click here for list).
With that amazing record, I have every reason to be encouraged as I read God’s Word in the Bible about what He will bring to pass: evil will be defeated!
2.Pray: Why? Because God wants us to. Because turning our attention to God gives us the right perspective of who is in control. In fact, we’re to pray with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6). As we give thanks to God for who He is and what He has done, it reminds us of how He has acted/helped/delivered/provided/comforted in the past, which should encourage us for the present and the future. And God responds to our prayers. (see my husband Alan’s latest TorahBytes message on this subject).
3.Follow God: While I am not God, I can follow God and live my life in a way to be a light and to make a difference in this world.
While I referred in this post to big-scale evil things in the world, we all have at some time or other smaller scale problems/negative/hard things in our lives.
In fact it was a smaller scale negative issue that prompted this blog – a negative thing that a loved one is dealing with.
The solution to these personal troubles that we or our loved ones face is the same:
1. Read the Bible.
3. Follow God
It might sound simplistic, but getting right perspective, appealing to the King of the Universe, and then following Him, does make a difference.
I woke up this morning, troubled. I opened my Bible to Psalm 131 and read “I have calmed and quieted my soul…O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore.”
My soul is quieted. I will hope in the Lord.