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When you’re ready to give up, look up

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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a man holding a Bible and scratching his head looking up to God (Credit: Prixel Creative via Lightstock)

North Korea is claiming that it could wipe out Manhattan by sending a hydrogen bomb on a ballistic missile into New York City. Turkey has targeted Kurdish militants with airstrikes in Iraq, retaliating for a suicide car bombing that killed at least thirty-seven in the Turkish capital. Sea-level rise could disrupt the lives of more than thirteen million people in the U.S., according to a study published yesterday.

Welcome to another day in the news.

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the challenges we face? Wages have been stagnant since 1979. The number of Americans dying of heroin has quadrupled in recent years. Now that same-sex marriage is legal, an organized effort has begun to legalize all “consensual sexual relations,” including polygamy and incest.

In days like these, it’s easy to abandon hope. But when you’re ready to give up, look up.

In Job 40, God addresses the multitude of skeptical questions posed by Job and his friends. Not by responding to their issues, but to their finitude. The Lord points to “Behemoth, which I made as I made you” (v. 15), an animal whose strength surpasses that of any human. Then God notes that he made “Leviathan,” a creature no man can conquer or control (Job 41).

His point is simple: If we are in awe of creation, should we not be even more in awe of the Creator?

Albert Einstein was unquestionably one of the history’s greatest minds. Yet he lived in awe of a Mind that was greater by far. Einstein spoke of his “humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality.”

According to Einstein, “We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they were written.

“The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.”

In discouraging times, a positive spirit is especially vital to Christian witness. Remember that our confidence is not in our circumstances, but in our Creator. This world is not our home: “Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14). So what should we do? “Through [Jesus] then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God” (v. 15).

Reflect on all that God has done, and trust him for all he will do. When last were you awed by God?