Thursday, December 13, 2012

That is our comfort....

My bachelor's degree is in international studies, a degree that incorporates geography, anthropology, economics, politics and history to understand regions of the world and why they are the way they are.  When I studied this field, I particularly found myself drawn to the study of human rights, including how they are abused around the world and what the international community does (or doesn't do) to avert human rights abuses.  Let me tell you, this is not the most encouraging field of study.  There were mornings were I wondered if it was worth getting out of bed because there was so much wrong with the world and no body seemed willing or able to fix it.  I felt depressed for a week after writing a paper about how rape is used as a weapon of genocide and ethnic cleansing across the world.  What baffled me was how people get to where they can perpetrate these kind of horrors on another human being... and how could it be that they could continue to do it with the full knowledge of a world that had developed documents like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  For example, the government of Burma/Myanmar has been systematically murdering ethnic minorities in its country for sixty years, hundreds of thousands have died... and yet nothing changes.

This brings me to the second beatitude in Matthew 5:4(NIV):
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

If you have ever looked around the world and realized that it is utterly broken - and mankind is entirely to blame for it - you have mourned.  How can it not be?  There was a ten-year old girl that was abducted, sexually assaulted, and dismembered this year in my area.  Every day, women in this country are trafficked illegally into the sex trade in this country and in countries all over the world.  Thousands of teens and children commit suicide every year.  Every year, people in this country trample each other to death or assault one another for nothing more than the chance to get ahead of another person for a Black Friday sale at a store the day after they celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday focused on giving thanks for all the blessings in their lives.  In America, fifty percent of marriages end in divorce.  The average age someone is first exposed to pornography is eleven.

This world is sick.

It is easy to believe everything is hopeless; that this is just the way the world is and there is no escape from it.  Yet Matthew 5:4 says we are blessed when we mourn, for we "will be comforted."  What comfort can possibly outweigh all this?

"For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.  And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.  He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds." - Titus 2:11-14(NLT)

This world... this life... is not all there is.  There is a God who was not content to linger in heaven without a care for His fallen creation.  He acted.  He invaded this "evil world" as a man and "gave his life to free us."  And now... we who have been set free can look forward to the day when all evil will be ended when Jesus Christ will return... and until then, we know that God continues to fight for this world - through us.  Through we who believe, He works to bring the light of Christ into the lives of others, changing the world one soul at a time.  So yes, this world is sick, but there is also this:

This world has hope: Jesus.

That is our comfort.


Payton Devencenty said...

Love love LOVE this!

TheNut said...

It seems especially poignant today, considering what has happened in Connecticut.

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