If you're looking for cutting-edge, political analysis, this isn't the article for you. If you're looking for the latest insights on the presidential elections, you're in the incorrect place. But if you're looking for spiritual wisdom and encouragement, if you wish to be uplifted and inspired, then keep reading. This article is for you.
The fact is that 2021 continues to be an exhausting year.
We were already worn out as a country before COVID-19.
A Flood of Bad News
The constant political tension, culminating within the impeachment hearings, was wearying.
The continual flood of sensational news, coming from all sides, was wearying.
The deepening divisions in today's world, revealing massive fissures ready to split, were wearying.
Then we got hit by the virus.
Then we'd the lockdown.
Then George Floyd was killed.
Then the protests. And the riots. And the looting. And the vandalism. And also the shootings.
One day Minneapolis was in flames. Then Kenosha. Then Louisville.
One day it's masked rioters, marching into our suburbs. The following day, we can't leave our houses without a mask.
The Loss of Normalcy
As for our normal distractions, like eating out or watching sports, many of them disappeared for months at a time as well. And the end is not yet in sight.
What if there is a vaccine? Should we take it? Will it be safe? Or is it part of some government ploy to watch our lives? Or is this just Big Pharma's method of making more money?
Is there anyone we are able to trust? The medical profession? The FBI? The media? Spiritual leaders?
Yes, this is America in 2021, and frankly, it's exhausting.
Added to all this is the ticking time bomb from the November 3 elections. The first Trump-Biden debate underscored the chaotic nature of the hour, and there is no guarantee that on November 4 anything will be settled.
Even when the votes are finally counted, will either side concede with grace? Will multiplied tens of millions of Americans accept the results and move ahead?
You might say to me, \”I thought you had been going to encourage and uplift me! I'm feeling much worse now than after i started this column. Thank you for nothing!\”
But God . . .
Well, here comes the encouragement in just four short words: lift up your eyes.
Lift up your eyes and appear to the one who never changes and it is never shaken or moved.
Lift up your eyes and look to the one that is perfect light, without any darkness whatsoever.
Lift up your eyes and look to the one who sits enthroned in heaven, ruling and reigning total creation.
Look up and worship the King.
Lift up your eyes and look to the one who cares so deeply for you that He sent His one and only Son into the world to die so you and I could live forever.
Look from the chaos and pain of the moment. Look away from the confusion and despair from the hour. Look away from the division and dissension of the age. And look up.
Look up and worship the King.
Look up and worship the one who is love personified.
Look up to the Savior and Redeemer.
Worship is the Key
Then, rather than complaining or gossiping or spouting off, begin to worship.
If you need some words to say, try these, saying them out loud if you can:
\”Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all sorts of that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and end up forgetting not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with higher so that your youth is renewed such as the eagle's.\”
Or maybe these:
\”Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!\”
You see, the Bible sees that many times, we will feel at a loss for the pressures of life, be they financial or emotional or physical or spiritual or relational. This is exactly why there are so many prayers of desperation found in books like the Psalms, with words like these: \”From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.\”
That \”rock\” may be the Lord Himself, and when we stand firm on His foundation, we will not be moved. Our perspective will dramatically change.
That's why the psalmist also wrote these words:
\”I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. God watches over you – the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you during the day, nor the moon by night. God will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the LORD will keep an eye on your coming and going both now and forevermore.\”
So, look away from the craziness of 2021, lift up your eyes, and begin to worship.
Your heart will be lightened. Your resolve will be strengthened. Your spirit will be encouraged. Your courage will be renewed, and rather than looking for a way to escape, you'll be searching for a way to serve and love others.
Lift up your eyes!
Dr. Michael Brown is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Evangelicals in the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.