I’ve been beset lately with a downcast spirit of sorts. It doesn’t feel like a storm raging, just dark clouds and a fog within me that blocks out the sun. It isn’t anything clinical or particularly intense, but a consistent feeling of sadness or frustration that many things in and around me simply aren’t as they should be.
It might be a frustration with our current cultural or political climate, which is a total mess; I think we can all agree on that. In my memory, I don’t remember a time that our nation has been this divided and pessimistic about our national and cultural future since at least the 1960’s. Frankly, about the only thing that binds us all together is our collective frustration.
It might be about relational issues with family or others that aren’t getting better, despite our prayers and best efforts. We may be beset by loneliness and isolation. We see people we know and love heading towards the rocks, threatening to shipwreck their lives, unwilling to turn themselves around. Relationships are strained to the point of breaking as we call out to them, all to no avail. On the other hand, we ourselves might be the ones heading toward the rocks, progressively hardening our hearts and minds to wisdom, while ignoring the calls of faithful family and friends. We will be free, we tell ourselves, as we wrap the chains of sin around us again and again.
It might be persistent sins within us that we are well aware of and fighting against, but falling to defeat more often than not. The road to sanctification is a rocky one, and we can easily fall into despair as we seem to spend more time in the ditch than on the road. We get down, because we know in our spirits that things aren’t as they should be. We ask ourselves, Where is God in all this?
Psalm 93:1 gives us the answer in three short words.
The Lord reigns.
No conditions. No geographical limits. No time limits. No limits as to subject or sphere. Simply stated, He reigns. Over all of it.
Now, do I know exactly what He is doing in all of this mess? No. In fact, that is one of the hardest lessons to learn about being a Christian, and especially about being a pastor—we don’t have all the answers. We can come to general conclusions, based on His Word that He is sanctifying us, drawing us and others to Himself, possibly chastising those whom He loves in order to awaken them in their sin. He is certainly bringing a measure of judgment down on our land for its collective disobedience. However, when we get to an individual level it is harder to discern. Uncertainty, doubt, depression, and despair begin to claw at our hearts.
It is during these times that we need to remind ourselves of core truths. The Lord reigns. He reigned at creation, He reigned at the fall, He reigned at the cross, and He reigns now. In the darkest times, He still reigns. He loves us. He will never leave us. He is changing us. Satan has been defeated. In His timing, He will bring us home.
He will make all things right. Believe and trust in that today.