One morning a young man awoke more tired than he when he had gone to bed. He was totally stressed about the problems facing his country. The politicians ignored God. The leaders despised God’s law. He dreamed about the bad things that might happen. He had tossed and turned all night.
To make matters worse, the major candidates offered him no hope. The more he watched his news feed and his favorite cable news network the more discouraged he had become. In discouragement he drove by his church. Sure enough, his pastor was in, so he stopped, hoping to grab a few minutes with him.
“Hey Brian, how are you?”
“Kind of discouraged, pastor. It seems like things are going to get worse, not better. There was another terrorist attack and have you seen the latest polls? And the things the candidates are saying…”
“Been spending a lot time watching the news channels?”
“Yes, I have, but that only makes it worse! I can’t believe the things that are being said.”
“I’m not surprised! What about reading your Bible and talking with God about all of your concerns?”
“Been doing that, too, pastor, but I keep on getting discouraged. Will things ever get better?”
“Okay, I get it. You just feel like God’s really not important today.”
“Exactly! So, what can I do about it? In the last election I worked as a volunteer, but I can’t even think of doing that this time.”
“I see. Well, let me ask you this. Have you seen the chariots of fire?”
“Uh, you mean the movie? I really like it, but I don’t see how that helps at all?”
“No, no Brian. I mean the real chariots of fire. Have you seen any of them?”
“Okay, pastor, I’m lost. Of course, I haven’t seen any.”
“So, I guess then that they don’t exist since you didn’t see them.”
“Well, you said you didn’t see them. Would you be encouraged if you could see the hills and our country surrounded by those chariots?”
“Yeah, I guess. No, wait, yes, I would be encouraged.”
“Why would that encourage you?”
“Because it would remind me, just like it did Elisha’s servant, that no matter how dark everything looks, God is really in control and nothing is happening apart from what he has planned.”
“Ah, and what makes you think they are not there now, just as they were in Elisha’s day? Is it because you can’t see them or perhaps is it because you are evaluating current events by sight rather than by faith?”
“Okay, I’m starting to get it. I can be encouraged regardless of the political mess. So, what do I do now?”
“Brian, live as a brother of your King. Be a source of encouragement to people. Keep doing a great job at work. Look for opportunities for the gospel. Let people see that you are living for God. Avoid useless arguments and lovingly speak truth. Keep your head up and praise God for his mighty army that answers to his command.”
Not bad advice!