This Mixed-up World
Dear Jesus, I’m frustrated with this mixed-up world. Everything seems turned upside down. What You’ve declared to be evil and wrong is often considered to be right and good. There are even those who change Your Word so it fits what they want to do and who they want You to be. You’re not welcome in many schools and public places anymore. If You knock, so many doors are locked up tight. People hurt each other, Jesus.
Everywhere I look I see fighting and discord, and bad news outweighs the good.
You mean so much to me. I want the whole world to know You and follow You. I do my best to tell others about Your goodness, but sometimes I feel as if it isn’t doing any good. I know that isn’t true, and I pray that You would renew my hope. I pray that You would work in the hearts of those who do not believe in You. Help me rise above my anger, Lord. Use me to make a difference and to lead others to You.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. — Matthew 28:19–20
This world can be a difficult place for Christians, and that fact is nothing new. Today’s headlines of wars, persecution, and fighting echo the history poured out in the Bible. But when you start to feel angry, frustrated, and hopeless, remember this:
God wins! God always wins!
Read the words of John 16:33. What are the troubles of this world that you see? Commit to praying about them every day. How might you play a role in overcoming them?
Pull Me Back to You
Dear Jesus, I’m slipping away from You. I can feel it, and I don’t want it to happen. But it’s just been so hard, Lord. You know all that’s happened. I’m hurt. I’m disappointed. This isn’t the way I thought things would go. And now You seem so far away.
But I love You, Lord. My mind tells me You are faithful, that You are trustworthy. It may not feel that way to me right now — but I will believe it. Oh, Lord, help my unbelief.
Open my eyes to Your presence in my life. I know You are here, but I need to see You working in this mess. You promise that if I come closer to You, then You will come closer to me. I’m here on my knees before You. Come to me, Lord, and hold me close. Heal my heart, clear my mind, and strengthen my will.
There’s so much I do not know and do not understand. But these things I do know: You love me, and I love You. I am Yours. And when I call out to You, You will not let me slip away. I am calling, Lord. Thank You for pulling me back to You.
I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak. — Ezekiel 34:16
When hard times leave you doubting and feeling far from Jesus, it’s time to take action. It’s time to call out to Jesus. He promised to answer. Read Psalm 145:17-18. How has God shown His faithfulness to you in the past? Can you see glimpses of His faithfulness even in this difficult time? Call out to God, and ask Him to reveal His nearness. Ask Him to pull you back to Him.
I Tried So Hard
Dear Jesus, I tried so hard, but I failed. This situation didn’t end the way that I had hoped and expected it would, and I am so disappointed. I sought Your will, and I thought I knew what to do. I used great care moving forward toward the goal, and I stopped often to pray. When obstacles got in my way, I asked for Your guidance, and I waited patiently for You to answer me. I was diligent in my work, never giving up. And then, with the finish line in sight, everything came crashing down. I felt as if all my work was for nothing!
Why, Jesus? Why did You allow me to work so hard and get so close just so I would fail?
Oh, but Jesus, as I hear myself pray this prayer, I realize how much of it is focused on me and my efforts. Forgive me, Lord. I don’t understand, but I trust You. You will bring good from this, somehow and some way. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. And still I must say — still I choose to say — “Blessed be the name of the Lord!”
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. — 2 Timothy 4:7
Disappointment makes us ask, “Why didn’t I…? Why didn’t God…?” Sometimes the Lord allows disappointment in order to build our faith. And sometimes He allows it because He simply has a better plan. But in all things, we must learn to say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
We must allow God to use our disappointments to strengthen our faith.
Think back over the difficult times in your life. Have they drawn you closer to God or taught you to trust Him? How so?
Excerpted with permission from Jesus I Need You, copyright Zondervan.
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Are you in the middle of disappointment? Have you been let down by those you love, by the world, by your job, by this mixed-up world? Is the bad news outweighing the good? Call out to Jesus! He promises to answer. Come share your thoughts with us on our blog.