Drowning in opinions on the news; often not a drop of facts or truth. ~
Our foundational Scripture comes from Two Corinthians, chapter one, line eight:
For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; ~ New American Standard Bible, NASB
Paul doesn’t go into detail about these afflictions. From the research I’ve done reading commentaries and articles on Paul in the providence of Asia…so I would not be unaware and just gloss over this…Paul was running into missionary type problems. We can understand this because many modern missionaries have feared for their lives and have even been killed on missionary trips. They’ve also been slandered when they returned home and wondered if they’d ever serve or preach again.
Here Paul is telling the church at Corinth that there was trouble, big trouble and that he does not want them to be unaware. Maybe gossip was filtering out of Asia that was wrong. More likely the church of Corinth had become complacent of affliction and for the most part was unaware. However, he tells them all of this by noting that God brought him comfort. He’s not talking of how we in this modern era think of comfort as soft cushions on a sofa as we watch another sports extravaganza, or watch the home shopping network and zone out. He’s extolling the church to zone in by hearing the real, true story…by being aware but not anxious. Yes, there is real, true horror today in politics, but God is still and always will be our real, true comfort. He is there in the midst of the turmoil. Reach out to Him.
On social media we read shocking headlines and maybe an opening line or two right under the photo. Then we get ‘a niggling’, something telling us ‘this ain’t right’, but we are too complacent or rushed and don’t take the time to read the article…and we are mislead. The headline is meant to sensationalize, and is often politicized. If we take the time to read the article we see a nugget of truth in paragraph three or four, or maybe the truth is buried further down. This type of deliberate misleading happens on both political sides. I’ve read several statements coming from my side in a meme’s dark box with bright white lettering extolling something horrid, almost unspeakable the other side supposedly had done. I’d begin to be outraged and then would get ‘that feeling’ and notice there is no source given. Or, I’d see a photo touted as breaking news with a horrid, condemning statement about the other side, but then I’d realize the photo had no source. I’d glance down at the comments and find out it was NOT breaking news, but a six year old photo, and it happened in another country. I’d check it out and yup, these were coming from raging people on my side. If you don’t have the time to check it out, don’t take headlines at face value, don’t believe anything without a source, and consider the source. Have you ever heard of it? Indeed this happens just as often on the other side: misstatements, deliberate misrepresentations, out and out lies. Still, I’m not anxious. I am not unaware. I know people who generate this vitriol do not know the love and truth of the God of the Bible. Or if they do know God, they’ve gotten caught up in political despair. They may be spiritually drowning. I need to pray for them, for I know God has plans for good. God is love. That’s who He is.
Now I’m going to get into something that might ruffle some feathers. There are Christians who sit back, don’t get involved and don’t serve the hurting community outside of the church (or even inside the church) because they say Jesus is coming soon from the heavens on a white horse. Jesus wants us to occupy until He comes again. Goodness, there might be a mission field right in our family, certainly within our circle of friends and coworkers. It almost goes without saying, outside our front door in our immediate community. And Paul also doesn’t want us to be unaware of afflictions in the society we helped to create. Maybe the society that is in such trouble got that way because so many in the church were complacent and deliberately unaware. If you are legally registered, go vote!!! Vote for the Biblical candidate!! If your church doesn’t collect socks and blankets for the homeless, or Christmas presents for poor children in your community, send a check to the Salvation Army or Samaritans Purse Christmas Child. Step up. Step out. You’ll feel good if you bless somebody.
In the middle of the chapter, Paul talks about praying in community, in your church, within your family…”for the favor bestowed upon us by the prayers of many.” Today we can pray for the afflicted, the down trodden, the persecuted, those we personally know with great needs in Facebook groups, on Zoom, in email chains, as well as in-person corporate prayer, and many other technological ways of connecting. As we know, where two or more are gathered in His name, there He is also.
In DEADLY DESIGNS gal private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels takes a leave of absence from her work in Texas and heads back east to work on a missing child case. It gets murky as people in high positions thwart her and Deputy Sheriff Dawson Hughes (a former Army Ranger) now working under cover on the case in a clandestine capacity.