Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is holy, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.
The news in the media today, whether you get yours from television, newspapers, or the internet, gives rise to daily distress. We are bombarded by unspeakable evils: Incompetent, corrupt and dictatorial governments; random and plotted murders; the ongoing slave trade; the abuse of children and the elderly, the heinous persecution and beheading of persons because of their religious beliefs.
And the list goes on.
Seemingly forever and ever and ever . . .
With no end in sight.
You can, I'm sure, add your own personal angst and anguish to this frightening, mind-boggling aggregate of senseless tragedies. But may I suggest, in our own sorrow and sadness at the state of the world, that we, as Christians, focus on something different. Not in terms of forgetting the injustices by any means, but to render them ineffective through the power of prayer and through our own positive actions in this world on behalf of our Lord, Christ Jesus.
As Saint Paul says in the scripture above, we are to contemplate the goodness granted to us from God through Jesus. We are to think about such things with heart, mind, soul, and strength. We must remember, in the midst of chaos and uncertainty, the truth Jesus speaks: "I have told you these things, so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
No matter what troubles, trials, frights, or fears this world throws at us, we need, more than ever, to rest in Jesus' promise to us. We need to trust that He has conquered the world, and there is no evil which can separate us from the love of God. (R0mans 8:35)
With that knowledge in our hearts and minds and souls, let us go forth in hope and faith and strength. Keeping ourselves focused upon all our Lord has taught us, and praying for those who suffer at the wicked hand of oppression.
Knowing their stories will not end there.
For our God, our ever-loving and omnipresent Father, is there for them, in this life and in the next.
What pain, what heartaches, are weighing upon your soul today?
Prayer: Father, we thank You for the precious gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who came not only to save us from our sins, but to overcome the sins of the entire world. In these times of uncertainty and fear, help us to focus upon Your promises, Your unchanging Word, to challenge in Your name, the injustices of this world in which we live and where we have the opportunity to do mighty works in Your name. In Jesus' name, we pray, amen.