When the Weariness Starts to Overwhelm Us
Sometimes it wearies me — the new and growing pressure from anti-Christian activists, the push for revisionist views on sex, the craziness from the Left. Maybe it’s because I pay close attention to these things. I’m wired for it, and I was hired for it, here at The Stream.
All of us who believe in Christ are responsible to push back against the rising tide of godlessness. Or put another way, we’re all called to shine with the light of Christ, speaking truth in love, telling the world the glory of God in Jesus Christ.
We have that responsibility. But that only goes so far — a fact I’d been forgetting lately, which is why I’d felt overwhelmed. Then in my daily Bible reading I came to Psalm 73.
It isn’t a perfect parallel, between that psalm and our situation today. But it’s close. It opens,
Truly God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
Sound familiar? In the psalmist’s experience, “the wicked” keep coming out ahead in wealth, in pride, even in violence, as he says in the following verses. And they were a godless group, which sounds all too familear, too (verses 8-11):
They scoff and speak with malice;
loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens,
and their tongue struts through the earth. …
And they say, “How can God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
It reminds me of the article Nancy Flory wrote here on Friday morning: “Atheist Group Files Complaint Against Judge for Giving Amber Guyger a Bible.”
Pushing, pushing, they’re always pushing against God and His people. More and more, it seems; and they keep winning, too. Not everywhere. But more than enough.
And what are we to do to fight back? Maybe it’s hopeless? I’m telling you, there are times it feels that way. But no; for as the psalmist says,
If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
We can’t give up hope. But what about that weariness, that sense of responsibility? The psalmist had been there, too. He also found the right road out of it (16-17):
“But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end.
He saw where they would end up — and it’s not as the victors. And isn’t it interesting who puts them there (verses 18 and 27)?
Truly You set them in slippery places;
You make them fall to ruin. …
For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
Who’s Responsible, Anyway?
God does it. It’s His responsibility. The wicked have their part in it, too, for it’s their own choice to remain far from Him.
So this helps me see my own responsibility on earth: to help call as many people as possible back from those slippery places. Yes, that includes fighting the evil that says God doesn’t belong in our lives. Yet it also means resting in the confidence that God hasn’t left us alone; He hasn’t forgotten us.
As the psalmist says (23-26),
Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
Reading this psalm, I, too, went into “the sanctuary of God.” By God’s grace and through His word, I “discerned their end” — and who’s ultimately responsible. And thank God, it relieved me of that weariness I’d been feeling. He’s got it covered. He holds our right hands. Flesh and heart may fail; we might even seem to lose some battles along the way. But our future is secure, for He is the strength of our hearts and our portion forever.
Tom Gilson (@TomGilsonAuthor) is a senior editor with The Stream, and the author of A Christian Mind: Thoughts on Life and Truth in Jesus Christ and Critical Conversations: A Christian Parent’s Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens, and the lead editor of True Reason: Confronting the Irrationality of the New Atheism.