What to Do with Disheartening News

by J. Randal Matheny, editor

In the last three days, I’ve gotten word of two friends and former coworkers in the Kingdom, servants in their congregations, who have surrendered to Satan and abandoned the faith.

Then, we heard yesterday from a visiting friend who had just moved and discovered the church in her new city had discarded the word of God.

Not infrequently comes news of preachers who take the old route of following the popular religious trends or of congregations that preach another gospel.

Churches leave the pattern the Lord gave in the New Testament. Christian friends abandon the faith that they had devoted themselves to for years. Disturbing news repeats itself week after week, so that we wonder what will become of this wonderful brotherhood that once showed encouraging signs of vitality.

In such moments the mind tends toward dark thoughts.

  • Will anyone be left to carry on?
  • Is the church becoming too fragile to meet the challenges?
  • Will all these new pagan philosophies sweep away even the faithful?
  • Will our children and grandchildren have a chance in their faith as they confront the deluge of false doctrine?

For such a time as this, we return to the foundational truth that the Lord is sovereign.
The Lord is in control. He guides the currents of history, rides the swell and ebb of human tides. God knows, and sees, and hears.

He’s used to working with a faithful remnant. With a hidden 7,000 who’ve yet to bow the knee. With a lone prophet in the city, or a solitary voice in the wilderness.

God knows how to let the course of human perversity squelch the language of reason, only to snatch the smoking brand at the last minute and fire the torch to become a strong beacon for truth.

The Lord lets the attrition of worldliness and selfishness whittle down the people of God to almost nothing, then makes a forest of tall saints spring up to spread joy throughout the earth.

This truth does not bid us recline and do nothing. Scripture is clear on how we must resist false teachers and insist on the truth.

The sovereignty of God does, however, bring us peace.

When the battle is fiercest, and all seems lost; when the odds are against us, and friends and brothers fall at our side; when the tears are hot for cherished losses, and the heart is faint from strain and stress, the Father reminds us that his sun still shines to warm our face, and his rain still falls to refresh the earth, and his seed still bears fruit in good and honest hearts.

The truth that God rules over all is our call to faithfulness, the renewal of our zeal, the spring of our hope.

What news have you heard of late?

4 thoughts on “What to Do with Disheartening News

  1. Thanks for your encouraging thoughts. In my city (Brisbane, Australia), no churches remain that I am aware of where the truth is heard consistently. I am very much aware that the survival of the church depends upon the power of the gospel (Rom. 1:16) and it must be preached (Rom. 10:11-18), and whether or not others do so it is my responsibility to do what I can in this regard and not wait for others to rescue that church. I thank God for those who remain faithful and proclaim His truth without fearing what man can do!

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