Sometimes nothing makes sense in life. It's common for a single person to feel overwhelmed, as if the whole world is going crazy.
Our planet is awash in violence, injustice, poverty, pollution, suffering, and death. When you focus on those negative elements, it seems as if chaos is ruling. Sometimes it can feel that way in your personal life too.
Is it true? Are things spinning out of control?
For several years I worked as a newspaper reporter. I often heard the complaint from readers that our paper only published bad news.
Of course, that's what makes the strongest impression on people. The paper published plenty of positive news, but it wasn't as shocking or memorable as the "bad" stories. My reply then, which still holds true today, is that "bad" news is out of the ordinary. That's one of the things that makes it news. If you're completely honest, that's the stuff you pay attention to also.
When thousands of people live in a city and get along, it's news when someone commits murder. When thousands of people drive safely, a traffic accident is news. When most government officials work hard and serve their constituents conscientiously, it's news when one is caught being dishonest.
When you understand why something is news and why an editor chose to report that story, it puts news reports into their proper perspective.
We tend to forget the technological advances in the past several years. Not only can TV news crews rely on satellites to beam video from all over the planet, we can also find almost instant coverage on the Internet. Often we can watch news live, as it happens.
Remember when the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists in 2001? I remember standing in a conference room with coworkers, watching it on TV. We all thought it was a terrible accident until the second plane crashed into the other building.
The horror of watching people die is traumatic. We grieve for their families and friends. And every time there's another mass shooting, everyone asks, "Why?"
Nothing makes sense in a situation like that. The more we're bombarded with unexplainable tragedies, the crazier and more dangerous the world seems.
I'm old enough to remember the days of only three television networks.
Today we have hundreds of TV channels on the air 24 hours a day, competing for ratings, and they repeat these disturbing stories and images endlessly. What's more, their sensationalistic slants try to pull the biggest audience. Part of their strategy to keep viewers watching is to appeal to base instincts.
An old newspaper saying was: "If it bleeds, it leads." In other words, murder and violence always makes the front page.
Sometimes your personal life seems to fall apart. Someone walks out, or your job ends abruptly, or a loved one dies without warning. Serious illness can turn your world upside down in a moment. You try to wrestle some meaning out of the situation, but nothing makes sense.
You ask God "Why?" and don't get an answer. Things happen randomly, seemingly with no reason. You get confused because you appreciate order and predictability. Something you thought would always remain the same is suddenly gone.
It's easy to get depressed when that happens. You feel like giving up. All your efforts come to nothing.
Home alone, we singles can replay events in our mind until we become obsessed with them. We tend to be good "catastrophizers."
If you think nothing makes sense, in one regard you're right, because the Bible predicts that things on Earth will grow worse. I'm not a Bible prophecy nut, but the Bible clearly says that events will continue to deteriorate right up to Christ's second coming.
Most of us think that the downward spiraling is right on schedule! That shouldn't be a cause for despair, however. We have to live in this world, and though we may be upset and discouraged by it, we worship a God who is unchanging and reliable.
The Bible is our rock, in more ways than one. The less sense the world makes, the more sense the Word of God makes. Jesus stands out as a totally reliable, authentic voice, no matter what else is going on around us.
One of the wonders of the Bible is its timelessness. It's as relevant today as it was 1,000 years ago--even more relevant as we grow closer to the End Times.
Regular Bible reading will ground you in one of the few things that does make sense. And if you use a study Bible, you'll see how to apply these unchanging truths to your personal situation today.
When we see people on TV behaving wickedly and stupidly, we can read the Bible and see that kind of behavior thousands of years ago. If nothing makes sense in our world, it does in God's.
Remember too that God is sovereign. He is running the universe, no matter how it looks on the surface. Nothing happens without his permission or intervention. We can't always understand it, but we can trust God.
Focusing on God is the key. The Supreme Reality always makes perfect sense and is the ultimate authority on right and wrong. Go to him when the world seems to be going crazy. Focus on his promises when your own life feels out of control.
God is true. He proves himself trustworthy. But most importantly, he brings us to himself through his son Jesus Christ. When if feels as if nothing makes sense, Jesus is the one thing you can always, always count on.