In a letter that I shared a few weeks ago from Stephen Clark and Paul Vaughan, we were reminded to seek to have the same perspective that God has. We were encouraged to sigh and cry for the injustices and tragedies that are taking place in our world and not just the ones that are on our immediate radar. But what do we do when sighing and crying seems like "too little, too late" or perhaps too uninvolved or removed from the tragedies that we witness?
If the headlines of the past few weeks have brought anything out, it is that many people in our nation and around the world are desirous of change, justice, and a better life. The frustrations felt by many bubbled over just as our states were beginning to reopen after months-long COVID-19 quarantines. As we have likely heard - and even some experienced - protests, rioting, looting, and lawlessness abound. Merely sighing and crying when our own neighborhood is burning can feel like we are not doing enough.
What should we do?
Psalm 4:4-5 has been on my mind a lot lately and, I believe, grants a very good perspective. These two verses tell us:
"Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And put your trust in the LORD."
In this Psalm of David, we learn that anger of and by itself is not wrong. There are definitely times to be angry and situations that should anger us. However, what we do with that anger is important. We cannot allow our anger to consume us and lead us to sin (Matthew 5:22). When we feel our anger boiling within us, it's time for us to separate ourselves from the situation - quarantine even - and meditate within our hearts upon the standards of God.
Our Father wants us to do what is right and not get caught up in the emotions of the moment.
Anger, at its core, is often rooted in a lack of faith and trust in God. We see injustice, we see unfairness, we see rioting...and WE can feel a need to do something about it. Somewhere in there we forget who God is. We forget that He raises up kings (Daniel 2:37) and that He ensures that His plan for mankind will be borne out even when it seems like the whole world is against Him (Genesis 11:5-9).
When we see social injustices, a lack of fairness, and a world degrading around us, we ought to be pricked in our hearts to strive that much harder and pray that much more fervently for the coming of our Father's Kingdom. Sighing and crying for the world and praying for the Kingdom isn't a simplistic, naive, or shallow thing to do. In fact, it's the ONLY thing that we can honestly do.
Regardless of our feelings (anger, frustration, or otherwise), we need to place our trust in the LORD, that He will take care of things and pray that we will be counted worthy to escape the coming tragedies (Luke 21:36).