“But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them” (Psalms 2:4 NLT).
Friend to Friend
On my social media, it feels like I’m seeing a growing wave of anti-God and anti-Bible comments. In our post-Pandemic world, media outlets and pollsters confirm an increasing number of empty seats and a rise in the number of people who no longer believe in a sovereign God or that Jesus is the only way of salvation.
While we may look around and feel the decline of faith in our country, you may wonder if God is in heaven wringing His hands. Is He worried that His plan for humanity is falling apart? Is God concerned that He might be considered obsolete in our rebellious world?
Today’s truth in Psalm 2 reveals God’s response to our world’s repeated attempt to dismiss, discount, or deny His plan or sovereignty. God is not worried. In fact, He laughs.
Our eternal Almighty God laughs as different rulers throughout humanity attempt to eliminate Christianity to silence the influence of God. One of the most notable and brutal attempts occurred in 303 CE when Roman Emperor Diocletian started the Diocletianic or Great Persecution, a time of brutal persecution of Christians.
At first, Diocletian was content to let Christians live with their religious freedom, but in time, he changed the laws, demanding that they follow pagan practices. After destroying churches and existing Christian books, he ordered that clergy be arrested unless they recanted. Then, Diocletian’s soldiers were ordered to find Christians and force them to recant their allegiance to Christ or face death.
As a result, the blood of countless martyrs flowed. Christians were murdered, whether locked and burned in their homes, executed by arrows or sword, or subject to all manner of early torture devices. One city, Phygria, comprised mainly of Christians was burned to the ground. Yet, he wasn’t the only ruler that attempted to stamp out the flame on the Gospel, nor the light of Christ in the world.
For all the horror that Diocletian and other rulers have inflicted on the world to eliminate the influence of God, they all have one thing in common: They’ve failed.
Therefore, as Psalm 2 records: God laughs. He scoffs because they foolishly think that their human effort can stop eternal power. If you continue reading Psalm 2, God’s laughter quickly converts to anger. He is a holy God and one day will judge an unbelieving world.
However, until then, how do we live in hope even when it seems like so many hearts are turning against God? Here are three reasons that you can have hope today:
- No matter what any news outlet or poll reports, God isn’t going anywhere.
- Pray for others to know Jesus but keep paying attention to how you live out your faith.
- Don’t worry, God wins.
Which one of these resonates with you today? When you see the statistics on declining church attendance or the changes in beliefs about God, then that is your prompt to pray, not get pessimistic. Centuries after King David wrote Psalm 2, the Apostle Paul would teach us to “walk by faith and not by sight.” Remember, God wins. He has already won and one day in the future, we will stand in His eternal victory. When we see empty seats at church or hear about friends walking away from the faith, those actions aren’t an indictment of God’s power or effectiveness, but rather evidence of humanity’s pride or hard hearts.
Long ago, King David prophetically wrote beyond himself declaring God’s victory to encourage us today. Can you remember to pray today instead of giving in to pessimism? Live as an overcomer because in Jesus’ Name, you are. As you pray for the salvation of those far from God or the repentance of turned-away believers, you will see God’s power and miraculous grace.
God, today I acknowledge for my own sake that You win! You are already and You will be victorious over the evil, sin, pain, and death in our world. Forgive me for getting discouraged and at times, even doubting Your power over what’s happening in our world. I choose to live from Your victory today.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
When you get discouraged about empty seats at church or reports of people walking away from the faith, what do you need to remember from today’s devotional?
Who are five people that you can pray for this week and invite to church for Easter services?
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s devotional was excerpted from Barb’s new Lenten book, Finding Jesus in the Psalms. Join Barb in exploring how King David’s life reveals the life and passion of Jesus Christ and this experience will draw you closer to God and deepen your faith with one of the most popular books in the Bible, the Psalms.
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