America has been bent for decades on infusing her culture with sinful values (as clearly defined in the Bible). That cultural change initially gained momentum in the institutions of higher learning (universities and colleges) and gave rise to the student unrest of the late 1960s. The immoral sexual and "recreational" drug revolutions of that era did frightening damage to the morals—and spiritual condition—of the country. Come to think of it, I've been feeling sad about this for quite a long time.
Many of the radical college students from back then—and their successors—became the educational and political leaders of later decades. In the 21st century, their value system has increasingly settled down to secondary and even primary school levels. Sadly, the lax morals of the older generation have negatively permeated the younger generation. As a result, today we see a lack of moral strength—from the vantage point of God's definition of morality.
With respect to our international readers, this accelerating, sinful, culture trend knows no national borders. As vertical thinkers, you can certainly see the ungodly reasoning, speaking and behavior in the culture of your own country. I imagine it makes you sad too.
But sadness also comes from life's other problems—unhappy families, bullying at school or in the neighborhood, the mentally depressing effects of drug or alcohol abuse, and other kinds of abuse. These tend to not only trigger anger, but a profound personal sadness. Add to that anger-sadness connection the sometimes unintended consequence of an angry spirit and dark mood expressed in much of today's (and yesterday's) youth-targeted music and entertainment. Very gloomy.
There's a time to feel properly sad. In fact, God doesn't smile on those who don't "sigh and cry" over societal degradation (Ezekiel 9:4-6). So how can we feel good and sad?
Grant sadness some self-respect. It's okay to feel sad—just not too sad for too long.
Sing a sad song. King David in the book of Psalms wrote (and sang) some sad songs to mourn and emotionally heal (see, for example, Psalms 3, 6, 7 and 12).
Jeremiah, God's writer of the book of Lamentations (sad songs) and often called "the weeping prophet," wrote, "Oh, that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!" (Jeremiah 9:1).
Sing your heart out. Soothe the sadness. Heal the hurt.
Then think vertically—look to God. He has planned for you and me—everybody actually—a happier, better day ahead. Jesus called it "the age to come" (Mark 10:30), when the world will be ruled by "the kingdom of God" (Mark 1:14-15). Human culture will be repaired, our nations healed—as will our own emotional hurts. God's Kingdom will turn sadness to joy forever!
The constant aim of this magazine is to explain to you the wonderful news of the Kingdom of God, as it affects all aspects of our lives. We hope you enjoy the spread of topics in this issue!