: this is not the time to hide from reality

It’s difficult to exist in a shattered world, especially when the reality of our brokenness comes crashing in like a wave on the shore, sinking our feet deeper into the sand until the tides finally turn and we have a minute to catch our breath again. Sometimes I think it would be easier to run away and hide in an obscure town in Costa Rica where there isn’t a television or news station or social media to tell me how messed up humanity is. It would be easier to hide, but it would not be right because this is the world God gave himself for. He did not hide. He did not run.

He entered into our suffering and offered healing.
He entered into our violence and offered peace.
He entered into our desperation and offered hope. 

It would’ve been easier for God to turn his face and leave us to our own devices but because he so deeply loved the world, he gave himself to us in Jesus Christ. In love, he threw himself in the way of our brokenness so that we might know him. In the same way, it would be easier for us to turn our faces from the rest of humanity’s suffering. It would be easier to shy away from the reality that my real, actual brothers and sisters are being slaughtered for the cause of Jesus Christ.

Hiding from reality does not make it any less real, though, and it certainly does not help spread the Gospel. And that is what we’re all here for, isn’t it? To advance the Kingdom of God by making disciples in every nation? To ignore suffering is to ignore the ultimate purpose for which you exist. Your life is not meant to be spent on comfort, security, and happiness while your brothers and sisters are being persecuted. Your life is not to be wasted on the American dream while the rest of the world is dying of hopelessness and despair.

Enter into the suffering and offer healing through Jesus.
Enter into the violence and offer the peace of Christ.
Enter into the desperation and offer hope through the Gospel.

“For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it—in the hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now. And not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits—we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. Now in this hope we were saved, yet hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience. In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. And He who searches the hearts knows the Spirit’s mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.”

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