The “God is dead” cry that has attracted so much attention in the secular press is one of numerous things that have combined to create a deep sense of frustration and uncertainty in many people today.

All about us we see evidence of moral and spiritual decay. Man-made alliances crumble, while wars and rumors of war so complicate the world situation that men despair of ever living in a peaceful world.

These things should not surprise the Christian. Rather, they should strengthen faith in the Word of God, for they are in full accord with what the Lord and the apostles prophesied would come upon the earth.

The Christian who loses his own bearings at a time like this will lose a great opportunity to witness to the faith. This is no time for pessimism on the part of believers. It is a time to rise up and point men to the Lord of history who is still sovereign. So far as God is concerned, things are not out of hand. He, as the Apostle Peter tells us, “is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9, RSV).

Actually these are times when we should look up and rejoice in the Lord as never before. We Christians must not remain silent, for we alone have the answer, not within ourselves but in the person and work of the Lord of all history.

For the “God is dead” blasphemers we should have both pity and prayer. They are denying a God about whom they know very little. The Christian can take refuge in hundreds of passages in the Holy Scriptures, such as, “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting thou art God” (Ps. 90:1, 2).

For the present world order there can be nothing but pessimism. Men who willfully reject God have no hope, only a “fearful prospect of judgment” confronting them. Christians, on the other hand, stand on the sure promises of God and know both their present position and their future prospects in the Lord. Never more than now have they needed to bear witness to their faith, not in a series of philosophical propositions, but in the person and work of Christ, the Lord of glory.

The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews says: “So that by two utterly immutable things, the word of God and the oath of God, who cannot lie, we who are refugees from this dying world might have a source of strength, and might grasp the hope that he holds out to us. This hope we hold as the utterly reliable anchor for our souls, fixed in the innermost shrine of heaven, where Jesus has already entered on our behalf” (Heb. 6:18–20, Phillips).

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How men need an anchor of the soul in these days! And how thankful we should be that we have such an anchor.

“Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me.” Henry F. Lyte wrote these words well over a hundred years ago. How applicable for today! What a comfort to know the One who is the God of the past, of the present, and of the future, and to rest in him!

At such a time as this there are many lessons for Christians to learn. One is to rest in the Lord. This is a very difficult command for some of us to follow. There is the urge to “up and smite them,” to call down fire from heaven on those with whom we strongly disagree. There is also the ever-recurring desire to go out and do something; but God calls us to pray before we act. Church history is full of well-meaning projects that foundered because they were based on the energies of the flesh and not on the leading of the Spirit.

In times of stress we are also prone to fret when God says, “Fret not.” We are tempted to turn to organizations and work, to set up some program, when God says, “Trust in the Lord,” or “Wait.” The flesh tempts us to rush out to correct situations when we should be waiting for the Lord. Too often we see the evil in others and fail to realize that we ourselves may be guilty of sin for which we have never repented.

We look at the world with a great feeling of frustration and forget God’s admonition, “Commit your way to the Lord.” We are tempted to give way to anger, often excusing it as some form of “righteous indignation.” But God commands us, “Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!”

These admonitions were given by God, not to absolve Christians from active work in his Kingdom, but to give them guidelines and to encourage them to depend on him. It is vitally important to consider God’s work in his way, by his Spirit, and in his time.

The anchor of our souls is fixed firmly in the sovereignty of God. If we look at the waves of a chaotic world, we begin to sink. But if we look up to the One who is sovereign in all history, we find peace of soul and quietness of heart.

The great danger confronting the Christian is that his faith should waver and he should succumb to the devices of Satan. All need to heed the warning: “You should therefore be most careful, my brothers, that there should not be in any of you that wickedness of heart which refuses to trust, and deserts the cause of the living God. Help each other to stand firm in the faith every day, while it is still called ‘today,’ and beware that none of you becomes deaf and blind to God through the delusive glamour of sin. For we continue to share in all that Christ has for us so long as we steadily maintain until the end the trust with which we began” (Heb. 3:12–14, Phillips).

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We Christians also need to bear in mind that we adorn the faith by showing loving concern rather than belligerent intolerance. Paul’s admonition to Timothy holds for us today: “The Lord’s servant must not be a man of strife: he must be kind to all, ready and able to teach: he must have patience and the ability gently to correct those who oppose his message. He must always bear in mind the possibility that God will give them a different outlook, and that they may come to know the truth. They may come to their senses and be rescued from the share of the Devil by the servant of the Lord and set to work for God’s purposes” (2 Tim. 2:24–26, Phillips).

Trying times? They certainly are; but no situation is beyond the control of our sovereign God. Challenging times? Yes, for we Christians have the only answer to the world’s problems. We do not know the answers ourselves, but we know the One who does know. It is in him, and in him alone, that men will find all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3, Phillips).

Rather than being overwhelmed by the chaotic conditions to be found on every side, we must thank God because we have a sure foundation, an anchor that will not drag, a hope that will not fade. We have a Saviour who is the Lord of today and of all history. Therefore there is nothing to fear.

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