, Muskogee, OK

April 24, 2013

Fort Faith: Jesus Christ brings light to a dark world

— By Barrett Vanlandingham

So what are we supposed to think and how are we supposed to feel about the last several days? Acts of terrorism at the Boston Marathon and an unrelated massive and deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in Waco have left an entire nation emotionally numb. And those are just a couple of things (yet very significant) that have captured our attention.

Those two examples do not even include things that happen every day in the lives of people everywhere, things that are not aired in the news, but may be just as devastating. One thing we do know is that Jesus knows exactly how we feel because he was tempted in every way that we are (Hebrews 4:15). One comforting thought is that our time here on earth is very short in comparison with the eternal life in heaven that we should be preparing for.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7-8).”

As Christians, we must not only keep our eyes focused on God, but also remember to encourage those around us to do the same. To do otherwise puts us at odds with the very one who loves us the most and gives us real hope. Being at odds with the Creator will not work for us today any better than it did for the Israelites in the Old Testament times who rejected Him and abandoned His commands in exchange for false gods. (1 Kings 18:18).

King Ahab of Israel was known as one who did more evil in the eyes of God than any other king before him. His reaction to God’s prophet Elijah is a prime example of how people have always reacted when they suffer the consequences of their own rebellion towards God. Ahab blamed Elijah for Israel’s troubles such as a three-year drought that had stricken the land.

Even today, people who distance themselves from God while embracing evil practices of the world often look for someone to blame besides themselves. Sometimes, unbelievers even blame Christians for their problems, especially when we try to bring the love of Christ and the light of God’s word into situations dominated by darkness. How much more calamity must our world endure before humanity chooses to acknowledge Jesus Christ as the son of God, and obey the will of God. That would not wipe out all problems. But it would cause people to understand the concept of true joy and hope in spite of very temporary trials.

Peter says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).” James says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

God bless you as you bring honor to him. Have a great week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or