Without a doubt, the world is looking pretty ugly right now. And if you’re looking through the lens of nostalgia and imagining what it was like in earlier generations, it all seems to be getting worse with each passing year.
The phrase often used is, the world’s going to hell in a hand basket, or something similar to that. I understand the concern. And, depending on your perception, it might seem as if it’s completely true.
People are longing for the goodness, purity, and innocence of our former days to return. But continually viewing life only through the rearview mirror suggests that God isn’t still actively at work.
Were there eras when we held certain morals and virtues to a higher standard? Of course. At one point, the whole of society agreed a lot more on a particular set of morals. Or maybe it’s that there was no avenue for people to disagree. Either way, it’s clear that times have changed. As they always do.
In some ways society is getting far better than it used to be. We’re no longer burning people at the stake for disagreeing with powerful leaders. We don’t allow slavery or segregation. We put a higher value on the contributions of women than in previous generations.
And still, in other ways society has certainly gotten worse. There does seem to be a shift in common place morals and virtues.
But with all of that in mind, I would like to make an argument that our world is not actually as bad as we think it is. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. But the truth is that life is nowhere near as terrible as it could be.
Here are 3 important signs that affirm that.
1. The world is still experiencing common grace.
Have you ever wondered why non-Christians fight and stand for the well-being of others? If we’re all plagued by sin, then shouldn’t a non-believer be completely self-absorbed and only care about the wickedness of their own heart?
But if you look around, that’s absolutely not the case.
While there are certainly some people who are rotten to the core, many people do their best to be kind and virtuous to others. The reason is because God is still extending grace to the entire world.
This is known as common grace. There’s a measure of grace that God bestows upon everyone who inhabits the earth. This is why non-Christians can be kind and loving people. This is why non-Christians can experience goodness and blessing in their life, even though they aren’t followers of Jesus.
All of humanity receives many good things purely as a result of God’s common grace. This is the only reason anyone not saved by the grace of Jesus will see any measure of success, prosperity, health, or well-being in their life.
If God removed his common grace, our world would be absolutely unbearable. Even still, it’s important to understand that common grace falls shy of saving grace. Though some sense of good can be seen and experienced by those who are not saved, they are still in desperate need of eternal salvation.
As we continue to see the difficult changes of this world unfold, we must remember that God’s hand is still upon all things. If it weren’t for him, our world would be worse, in ways we can’t even fathom. It’s God himself who upholds any measure of goodness and beauty that we experience.
Just take that in for a minute. Any good any of us experiences in life is only because God has given it to us.
2. The door is wide open for salvation and repentance.
One of the greatest signs that our world isn’t as bad as it could be is that there’s still opportunity for repentance and salvation. There will come a day when the full judgment of sin will be carried out on all of those who do not repent and turn to Jesus.
God truly desires for all to be saved. And during this time there’s still opportunity for people to come to a saving faith in Jesus.
For those of us who are believers it’s easy to take this truth for granted. But for those we love and know who are not Christians, there is still an opportunity for them.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
(2 Peter 3:9)
When this opportunity no longer exists, that means the full judgement of God will pour out. And there isn’t one who will escape.
Instead looking around us and seeing the evil that continues to ensue, we should be encouraged that there is still an opportunity for those we love to turn to Jesus. Our hearts should weigh heavy not because of the evil we see, but because we know this opportunity of salvation won’t last forever. We should have the same heart as God and long for none to perish but to come to a saving faith in him.
I know it’s hard to watch the unraveling of moralities and the corrupt nature of man, but it’s always been this way. The only reason God has not poured out his judgement on the earth is because he desires for more to repent and turn to him.
The eternal condition of the souls around us should concern us more than their current moral failures.
3. As awful as they are, bad seasons are only seasons.
Bad days and bad seasons are common to the human experience. This is true for Christians and non-Christians alike. Life won’t be full of hilltop moments. There will be deep valleys that sometimes even feel like death itself. But no matter how deep and dark those valleys seem, they don’t last forever.
If you look at the history of our country, and even our world, there are certain time periods that were hilltops and others that were valleys. There is no one season that lasts forever.
That might seem like a glass half full or half empty way to look at it. But we won’t see the forever days of hilltops until Jesus returns, but in the meantime we get a glimpse of what it might be like. We long for the good of people and life, but it always seems like these moments are fleeting. That’s because they are, for now.
The very fact that bad seasons are limited to just seasons is a sure sign that our world isn’t as bad as it could be.
Fight the urge to be pessimistic and negative.
Even through all of the twisted evil intentions of man that’s is not on display to the degree it should be. There is a holding back of evil we get to experience and that only comes from God.
It’s far too easy to feel discouraged and overcome by the weight of evil in our world. I’m not one to be unrealistically optimistic, but there is a sense of optimism that every Christian should have. The truth is our world could be far worse than what we are currently experiencing. Not only will we not be overcome by evil, but we are even being shielded from evil during this time.
We can take heart knowing that God is at work keeping this world from being the worst it could be.