Have the events of this year, worn you out. Do you feel fatigued from false news, worried about election integrity, restricted by the pandemic, unsupported by work, disillusioned with the government, divided by social unrest, or distanced from family? You can find peace, restoration, and victory in Jesus. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). He told his followers they can have peace even amidst trials, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
When you look at society and our world, don’t be deceived or defeated by the corrupt thoughts and actions of humankind. As you have most likely experienced in life, things aren’t always as they seem. The widespread evil and disaster of our days are due to people rejecting God’s perfect way to pursue their own selfish way of living. But that doesn’t mean all good is gone. In his mercy, God has granted evil a short extension so more people have time to turn to him (2 Peter 3:9, 15). In his time, he will judge all evil and give those who reject him over to the results of their rebellion, which is eternal torment separated from their Creator, whom they hate. Fortunately in his grace, he has provided salvation for anyone in Jesus. In reality, evil has not won. Actually the war for your soul has been fought and won by Jesus. Now you need to choose who you will live for: God or yourself.
Don’t give in to evil or be blinded by deception. Don’t pull back from giving out of your time, talents, and treasure to help others. Don’t give up on God and lose hope. Instead give in to God. Humbly rely on and follow him. Your role is to seek the truth, proclaim the truth, and live the truth so you and others can experience God’s abundant life in Jesus. The greatest truth of all time is that Jesus, God the Son, came to earth to save all who trust and obey him so they can have an eternal relationship with God and not die willfully estranged from him, suffering the torment that goes with that. Soon Jesus will return to establish righteousness, gather believers to reign with him, judge unbelievers, and vanquish evil, death, and Satan. I know that is a lot to process. But take care not to dismiss this reality! The Bible explains it. Jesus confirmed it by his message and miracles, his love and forgiveness, his sacrificial death and resurrection, and his ascension followed by the gift of his Spirit. The quality of your life, your impact, and your destiny depend on what you do with this truth.
Jesus has won. On the agonizing cross he cried out, “It is finished” (John 19:30). He joyfully accomplished all that was required to save people. The apostle Paul, explained this to believers, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:13-15). Satan and sin do not have to control you. Jesus is the captain of your salvation and you can be a part of his family (Hebrews 2:10-11; John 1:9-14). Trust and obey him and you will enjoy his wonderful life now and forever. Jesus told his followers, “Because I live you will live” (John 14:19). Further in his letter to believers at Colossae, Paul explained, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:4). Almighty God continues to rule. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:13-16).
If you live for yourself you will lose. We see the tragic results of this all around us. In contrast, Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done” (Matthew 16:24-27). A winner is not someone who seeks their own glory, promotes themselves, or desires others to serve them. A winner rejoices in God. He or she finds victory in loving and living for God and then shares the blessed reality of that with others so they too can triumph and thrive in Jesus.