By Phillip Slaughter

We live in difficult days

By Phillip Slaughter

We live in difficult days. I hope these words help.  
Life can be beautiful: take your breath away, overwhelmingly joyful to the point of tears, and filled with moments of transcendence that make even the hardest skeptics believe there must be something more.  

Life can be terrible: take your breath away, overwhelmingly painful to the point of tears, and filled with moments of darkness that make even the most faithful question the existence or goodness of God.  
Through it all, I choose to trust God and His Word. I praise Him in the moments when His presence and glory are almost tangible, and I praise Him in the moments when I cannot sense Him, and all I see is brokenness all around me. 
I have spent innumerable hours contemplating light and darkness. I do not want to oversimplify our greatest joys and deepest sufferings, but I believe the beauty reflects God’s glory, and the brokenness reflects the effects of sin. The latter is the byproduct of us being perfectly created while simultaneously given the ability to make choices that often result in pain. But there is more. 
According to the Bible (Read John 1), God chose to become a man. He did this to show us the beauty of what we can be with His help, but He also did this to one day bring about the end to all suffering and to remedy everything that was broken. Jesus offers us hope and has called us to be agents of beauty in the here and now. It can be painful waiting on the consummation of His plan. Choose to be light in the darkness of the world. Embrace those struggling to find hope in the midst of the chaos. We live in a culture that relishes tearing down others and making enemies at every turn. Live counter-culturally and be a glimpse of the healing that awaits us. 
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” – Revelation 21:3-7 ESV 

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