A brief encouragement for the culturally discouraged or even culturally fearful:
This morning at our local pastors' meeting, our leader encouraged us to share how God was using His Word in our lives or in the lives of the churches we serve. As we went around the room, pastor after pastor said almost the same thing: "We are preaching in Judges / Numbers / Ephesians / Genesis right now and God is using His Word to equip us for faithfulness in a difficult world."
All of these men realize our city and country are changing. The cost for faithfulness to and membership in Christ is drastically increasing. Without a revival or some other providential stomping-on-the-brakes of our societal decline, Christians face tough times ahead.
But that's why God gave His Word. Not to give us nice things to post on facebook when everything is going swimmingly, but to give us a rock in the quicksand, an anchor in the storm, a light in the dark.
And I'm more convinced than ever that God is doing it! He is using His Word to prepare His people for Christ-honoring obedience, sacrificial and suffering faithfulness, and a strength of joy founded in the ultimate promises of God's end-game, regardless of what comes in the meantime.
So as we pray and mourn and labor for what's right and good, let us never lose hope, even if we lose many more battles. God's Word is not only true, it is powerful to save and equip us for lifelong faithfulness in this world.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
I will also speak of your testimonies before kings
and shall not be put to shame,
for I find my delight in your commandments,
which I love. (Ps. 119:46-47)