And How to Address it.
The easiest thing to do about it, of course, is to complain. Everyone seems to be doing that. Sometimes we’re also anxious or even afraid. Surprisingly, some are even apathetic, perhaps due to fatigue. Yet clearly none of these responses make matters any better. If we recognize that and want to help, what can we do?
Many believe the answers to our problems lie in politics and legislation. Others turn to protests and violence. Some focus on communication. Various practical solutions are advocated. Less helpful, but still common, are bullying and running over others in an attempt to force a new way or protect an old way. But the trouble runs deeper than any of these solutions.
Scripture says that “the whole world lies under the power of the Evil One” (1 John 5:19). To oversimplify for the sake of clarity, the root problem is people are following the will of Satan instead of the will of God. To be sure, all the areas mentioned in the previous paragraph have been contaminated by Satan and his minions. But you cannot fix those areas without mending the people. We must set people free from the evil one who deceives and controls them. That was Jesus’ purpose. “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8).
As followers of the Son of God, we are uniquely qualified to recognize and address the root cause of the trouble in the world, namely, the devil’s work. Our Leader did not seek to calm the turbulence in the world by politics, protest, or protecting those in power. Instead, he established an alternative to Satan’s pervasive influence—the Kingdom of God—and invited individuals to submit to it. His opening salvo, and a summary of his message, was a downright demand and confident claim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).
If we follow Jesus, we will resist the tendency to think the answers lie in politics, privileges or preferences, and instead do what he did. We will address the turbulence and trouble in world by growing the kingdom of God.
What does that mean? How do we do that? How do we change the world like Jesus? Read on.