“Who can look abroad at public affairs all over the globe, and avoid the impression that this old, bankrupt world needs a new order of things? The cement seems to have fallen out of the walls of human society.
On all sides we hear of restlessness, anarchy, lawlessness, envy, jealousy, distrust, suspicion, and discontent. The continuance of evils of every kind, physical, moral, and social—the constantly recurring revolutions, and wars, and famines, and disease—the never-ending growth of superstition, skepticism, and unbelief—the bitter strife of political parties—the divisions and controversies of Christians—the overflowing of [drunkenness] and immorality—the boundless luxury and extravagance of some classes, and the grinding poverty of others—…the shiftless helplessness of statesmen to devise remedies—the commercial dishonesty—the utter failure of mere secular knowledge to really help mankind—the comparative deadness of Churches—…the universal “distress of nations”…and dread of something terrible coming.”
The above was written by Anglican bishop J.C. Ryle.
Last summer I had the privilege of sitting in on an afternoon of lectures by Dr. Larry Crabb. The entire three hours blew my mind. But one of Crabb’s thoughts in particular stuck with me. He shared that in times of distress, our deepest comfort is not found in our current relationship with Christ, but in the hope of His future redemption of our lives and the entire world.
Ryle evidently agreed. He continues:
“The true Scriptural source of consolation, in the face of all that troubles us, is to keep steadily before our eyes the second coming of Christ. We must grasp and realize the blessed fact that the rightful King of the world is returning soon, and shall have His own again; that He shall put down that old usurper, the devil, and take away the curse from off the earth. Let us cultivate the habit of daily looking forward to the resurrection of the dead, the gathering together of the saints, the restitution of all things, the banishment of sorrow and sin, and the re-establishment of a new kingdom, of which the rule shall be righteousness.”*
What do you think? Do you agree with Crabb and Ryle? Has this been your experience?
*Excerpted from Ryle’s essay, “Looking Unto Jesus.”