Too much bad news…
Lately, it seems that every time I turn on the TV or catch a snippet of news online or in a newspaper, I am bombarded with disappointing and scary information. The economy is failing. The stock market is breaking records, plunging downward. Political attack ads are everywhere, trying to make us afraid of whoever the “other” candidate is. Taken at face value, all of these messages can make us feel that the world is on the brink of disaster.
And, the reality is that times are hard for many people. A gallon of gasoline does in fact cost more than it did a few years ago. We buy less food at the grocery store for the same amount of money. Many of us are facing difficulties making mortgage payments. Others of us have already lost a home or a job. All of these things increase our anxiety and fear, regardless of how deeply we are personally being impacted. The climate we live in is anxious and afraid, and we cannot help but feel it.
In the midst of all of this concern and unease, we are faced with choices about how we cope with the stress. Anxiety is often a trigger for people to turn towards things that ease the pain. While I haven’t read any recent studies on this, I don’t believe it is a stretch to say that while many industries are seeing a decline in sales, others like pornography, alcohol, and gambling are likely increasing. Of course, these things only bring temporary relief, causing us to forget our problems for a short while.
But as always, these things only add to the problems we face and make our anxiety and fear increase further. And then we’re back where we started, seeking temporary comfort again and again.
I believe that a big part of this cycle is connected to hope. It is scary to trust that God will meet our needs, when everything we hear from the world is telling us that things are falling apart. Rather than placing our hope and faith in God, we again attempt to meet our own needs. And, we fail.
Scripture tells us the story of Job. He is an excellent example of perseverance in the face of difficult times. In fact, even referring to him as having “difficult times” is a grave injustice. Job lost everything, including his property and even his children. Yet in the midst of his suffering, he said, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.” (Job 13:15, NIV) No matter what happened, Job believed God would vindicate him. Later we find out that He did! All that was lost was restored to him.
Sometimes I find myself buried in fear. I am troubled by the economy: for myself, for WGA, and for our nation. When I am wallowing in that state, God meets me there. I don’t usually hear an audible voice, but I suddenly have a sense that everything will be alright. No amount of worrying on my part will actually change anything.
He reminds me that in times of hardship, people turn to Him for answers. We forget how blessed we are here in the United States sometimes. We forget that God is our provider, because we feel perfectly capable of meeting our own needs. Seasons of difficulty remind us of our need for God.
I am greatly comforted by this. God doesn’t tell me that my life and the lives of those I care about will be free from challenge. But, I am able to relax a little bit and remember that God is God, and I am not. What a relief! My job is to do my best to trust in His goodness and His mercy.
In this time of chaos and crisis happening around us, there is great opportunity for revival among God’s people. I hope this is as exciting to you as it is to me! While I am still prone to feeling fear from time to time, I am eager to see how God uses this current turmoil for His Glory.
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (I John 4:16-18, NIV, emphasis added)
Roger began working with WGA in October of 1996 as the Assistant office Manager. Since that time, he has worn many hats and served in several different positions, including Assistant Program Director and Operations Director. In April of 2007, Roger assumed the position of Executive Director.
Roger attended West Texas A&M University, where he studied Music Business. Much of his training has been “on the job,” where he was mentored by the ministry’s Founder, Mary Heathman, and the Program Director, Scott Kingry. He holds a BA from West Texas A&M University.
Roger, his wife Jill, and their daughter Julia and son William, attend Celebration Community Church where Jill serves as Senior Pastor.
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