Devotional 169. 12/31/15. New Year’s Eve 2015 (Reflection).
-1/14/15: “Charlie Hebdo attack: Three days of terror” (Source 1).
-5/5/15: “ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack outside a Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest in Texas” (Source 2).
-“Syria Refugee Crisis” (Source 3).
-7/20/15: “U.S. and Cuba Reopen Long-Closed Embassies” (Source 4).
-11/20/15. “Paris terror attacks: Elite police squad members tell of final deadly minutes of Bataclan massacre” (Source 5).
Most people want New Year’s Eve to be a celebration, a time when we don’t talk about bad stuff and only look forward to good things. It’s great to look towards the positive situations coming up and we’ll do that in the Devotional I will post tomorrow. But we’ve still got some hours in 2015 and we should consider the things that have happened this year.
When we see bad stuff on the news we listen to eye-witnesses, when we hear how the economy is failing we watch financial analysts, when our military is failing we see generals interviewed. But “there is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the LORD” (Proverbs 21:30).
A lot of time our mind jumps to the question, ‘God if You’re good, why did you let this bad thing happen?’ I just found this quote: “God judged it better to bring good out of evil, than to suffer no evil to exist (Augustine)” (Source 6). I had to think about that. For “good” to be known as “good” there must be an opposite, and in our case we call that “evil.” Augustine is saying that God made the decision that it was better for Him to bring good out of every evil situation, than to not have evil exist at all and therefore good not to exist either.
We can rest in the Lord and share that peace with others since we’re not to “…be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the Lord will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught” (Proverbs 3:25-26).
We recognize that all of the bad events in the world are just symptoms and the root of the problem is sin. Now we deal with sin and we work on it in our own lives but we need to recognize that Satan and his demons never sleep, they just manipulate and offer temptations and evil thoughts all the time. When we take our eyes off ourselves and look at the world around us our main concern, to put it bluntly, is that people are going to hell. When we’re told, “Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die” (Proverbs 31:8) it’s in reference to the un-represented here on earth, but it also applies to eternity. We have a message to friends, family and strangers that “are appointed to die” about their Attorney, who also took full responsibility for their crime and paid the price. Will you “open your mouth” for them?
There is progress every day. On November 13, 2015 we only knew that Paris had been attacked but by the 14th we knew the Islamic State was claiming responsibility for the attacks. We see attacks going on in the world, sometimes we see the devil take responsibility, and other times we don’t. But with the Lord, we know how it will end. He always takes responsibility for what He has done, is doing and will do. We have Christian organizations like World Vision that are helping the 4.39 million Syrian refugees and you can help World Vision with that here: http://www.worldvision.org/news-stories-videos/syria-war-refugee-crisis . You may have noticed that each of the verses used in today’s Devotional are from Proverbs. There is a lot of godly wisdom in the book of Proverbs and there are 31 chapters. This works out great because you can read one chapter a day each month and start over again the next month. Keep this up all year, even if you miss a day here and there, and I guarantee you, you will have a better year and have a different outlook on life and the year, next year at this time!
Source 1: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30708237
Source 2: http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/05/us/garland-texas-prophet-mohammed-contest-shooting
Source 3: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/12/31/major-global-events-that-shook-2015.html
Source 4: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/21/world/americas/cuba-us-embassy-diplomatic-relations.html?_r=0
Source 5: http://www.news.com.au/world/europe/paris-terror-attacks-elite-police-squad-members-tell-of-final-deadly-minutes-of-bataclan-massacre/news-story/c1c34c40f2e2a3dbeb426eef971818e0
Source 6: http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan24.html