By Maria Kneas
Maria is the author of Strength for Tough Times and How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution.
I saw some very troubling news today. Of course lately that has been happening every day. But today I saw two things that were worse than usual. And that causes two problems. First, it is heartbreaking to see what our nation has turned into so far, and is likely to turn into in the near future. And second, it is frightening to think of what could happen to us, and to the people we love. Therefore, I need strength and encouragement. And you probably do too.
First, I have a scripture verse for you. In Luke 4:18-21, Jesus quoted the following passage and said that it applies to Him.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound” (Isaiah 61:1; emphasis added)
My husband Ray died over 40 years ago. We were very close, and I grieved intensely. And after a while I realized something.
When your heart has been broken, it won’t be the same again. Either you will turn in on yourself, and your heart will get smaller and more hard, or else you will turn out with love towards others, and your heart will become larger and more loving. I made a conscience decision to turn outwards and love others.
For example, I noticed that nobody talked to the resident manager in our apartment building unless they were complaining. So I made a point of seeking her out to encourage her and be nice to her. There were homeless people begging in front of our apartment building, so I often gave them food. I befriended an old lady who needed somebody to talk to, and I helped her with some physical things. And eventually I became a volunteer live-in house mother at a group home for mentally retarded adults.
My point is that when our heart is broken, we don’t have to just react to it. That applies to personal grief (like the death of my husband) and it also applies to grieving for our nation because of the exponentially increasing evil and lawlessness that we are seeing. And the insanity of what some people in power are doing and saying. Jesus warned us:
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24:12) That “many” does not have to include us. As Christians, we can choose to do the opposite. We can make a deliberate choice to become more devoted to God and more loving with people. And more courageous about living the way that God tells us to do—instead of caving in to the increasingly paganized culture around us.
(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission; design by LT)