Good advice in turbulent times


So far in 2020, we have experienced a pandemic, natural disasters, violent protests, a widening left-right political gap, and greatly increased unemployment which have all caused uncertainty about the future.

This is indeed a turbulent time in the United States of America.

I find that it doesn’t help to listen to political podcasts or watch the news. Neither of these outlets are designed to bring assurance or comfort. They are, by design intended to stir things up and get people’s attention.

Can you imagine that smiling news anchor coming on to say that the last 24 hours has been a great time to be alive and then proceed to offer 30 minutes of stories to prove it? No, neither can I.

Since this doesn’t happen, I suppose it is because there is no market for this. We instinctively know that the world is messed up and we want to learn how close the craziness is to our little corner of that world.

It is easy to get our knickers in a twist over current events. It is easy to get caught up in the rhetoric of whichever political party seems to better fit our predisposition. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and wonder if things will ever stabilize or get better.

But then I read this is Psalms this morning:

Be angry and do not sin; reflect in your heart while on your bed and be silent. Offer sacrifices in righteousness and trust in the Lord.

Psalm 4:4–5 (CSB)

The Psalmist offers four appropriate responses to the conditions in which we find ourselves:

  1. Be angry and do not sin – Experience anger but don’t respond in a way that is sinful or inappropriate
  2. Reflect and be silent – reflect carefully before responding – I really wish that some politicians would follow this advice.
  3. Offer sacrifices – Rather than troll your perceived enemy on Facebook, look to God, and find your peace and satisfaction in him.
  4. Trust in the LORD – Trust that God has the situation under control and allow him to work in his way and in his time.

I especially like the last two. Focus on God and allow Him to work in his way and in his time.