(A two-minute read)
The Bible is clear: pray for leaders. Despite their failings, or failings we perceive in them, do this without fail, and with humility. Otherwise we, as sinners ourselves, are hypocrites, and our hearts are not right.
In addition, offer these supplications with the single-mindedness that comes when we “avoid foolish debates, genealogies, contentions and arguments about the law, for they are unprofitable and useless”. 1
Be diligent in intercession. Keep an eye out for the spiritual weather of course, but don’t take our eyes off the eternal goal: salvation for a world in great distress.
Some Christians revel in the perception that ‘the world is getting darker’ or that ‘things are worse than they have ever been.’ They use this to point to Christ. This is looking to the Fall for salvation, not to Christ. This is looking to ultimate death for salvation, not to resurrection.
As darkness grows, light grows more. 2 Plant that in your heart and let it take root.
Nothing is happening in 2023 that wasn’t already common in AD 23 and ancient history by 1023, or 1923 for that matter. A close reading of the New Testament against the backdrop of history proves out Ecclesiastes, that there is nothing new under the sun.
Let’s stop pretending that there is.
There’s a whole sermon in that – the pretending that our day and age is different from any other. But I digress…
Finally, let’s take encouragement from that book of wisdom, which says ‘For in an abundance of wisdom is an abundance of frustration, and he who increases in knowledge also increases in sorrow.’ 3
If you are frustrated, or sorrowful, or both, know that it’s because the Lord has granted you wisdom. That’s great news! Wisdom is the coin of the realm. Spend it wisely through prayer and supplication, not by casting aspersions or looking for reasons to call out the dirt in others.
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let everyone come to know your gentleness. The Lord is at hand. 4
1. Titus 3:9
2. Romans 5.20
3. Ecclesiastes 1:18
4. Philippians 4:4-5