The whole world is not a mess!

Is the whole world a mess? No. 

In Paul’s introduction in Colossians 1, these words recently jumped off the page and delighted my heart. It’s as if Paul couldn’t help himself. He had to cram this truth in! I hope this truth delights your heart too.

Of this [the hope laid up for you in heaven] you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. (Colossians 1:4b-7a)

In the whole world!

All around the globe, the gospel is bearing fruit and increasing. Let’s remember this truth when the darkness of the world encroaches on our family. Let’s remember this global, world-wide truth when the news stories tip toward repetitive negativity. No matter what is going on in our relationships, home or the world, the gospel is bearing fruit and increasing. No individual hardships, global struggles, inept leaders, persuasive technology or evil stops the gospel from growing in and through people who hear and understand it.

It is possible to hear the gospel and not understand, but perhaps, like me, you can attest to the truth that the gospel has been bearing fruit and increasing since the day you heard it and understood. Our understanding of God’s grace increases year after year, but we do not even resemble the people we once were. Jesus hasn’t grown us into better people. He has transformed us into new people!

There are people being transformed by Jesus everywhere! Through us, the gospel is guaranteed to keep spreading as we reflect the character of Christ and tell people the reason for the hope that is in us: but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, (1 Peter 3:15)

Is the whole world a mess? No. 

The Bible tells us the dark parts of the world are going to become darker. “…evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13). But this means the bright parts of the world where the gospel is bearing fruit and increasing is becoming increasingly brighter! When I leave my outdoor house lights on by accident during the day, they don’t illuminate the house, but when I turn them on at night, the lights can be seen from afar as I drive up the street.

So it is with followers of Christ. We shine in darkness!

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world… (Philippians 2:14-15)

Is the whole world a mess? No.

God’s story isn’t on hold until the end of time when he restores heaven and earth. God’s story is active every day we have a calendar to mark off days. God’s story is active today!

He did not produce the suffering we experience. We did. That is what we did in Genesis 3 when we dared to separate ourselves from the source of life and live independently in our own strength (Genesis 3:1-7). No matter the mess we have created. No matter the sins that abound. No matter the suffering we endure. God is wooing people to Himself every second of every day, caring for every minute detail of each person’s life, ready to grab the hand of anyone who reaches out, doing miracles and governing the life and death stories of family lines and genealogies with perfection.

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us… (Acts 17:26-27).

Is the whole world a mess? No.

Picture Explanation: Things that have made me smile on days when the world is hard. I know the explanations.

Speaking of living with eternity in mind: If you are interested in being contacted to participate in a One Gritty Blink Bible study, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and send me an email so I can place you on a list to be contacted as online and face-to-face studies are planned. Let’s not just focus on things in this short life, but also what counts for eternity!

Note: No part of my posts are derived from A.I. Thoughts and writing stem from my mind and heart as I process life week-by-week and continue to grow in my understanding of God and how to apply His wisdom to the world around me.

© 2024 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

5 Responses

  1. Hi, Sweet Friend. Thanks for this reminder that in the big picture, God’s picture, the world is not a mess. He knows the end from the beginning and sees the whole masterpiece. Thank you for all the scriptural reminders of the positive things God is doing in our lives and in the world. Thanks for all your thoughtful words and for your dedication to writing each week. May God give you joy this week.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. Truth is, you are one of the people I had in my head as I wrote this week. The gospel is fruitful and increasing through you. I know it doesn’t feel like that most of the time, but our bible tells the truth.

  2. Thank you, Laurie, for this post as a reminder that the unseen world is moving towards its fulfillment. This week, God has allowed me multiple peaks into God’s normally invisible work of kingdom building and divine networking, causing me to give Him praise! How thankful I am that “Aslan is on the move!” At the very same time, other circumstances feel heavy and hard. May I a. seek Him first and b. be sensitive to the Spirit to stop and be light to a friend or stranger, even when I’m tempted to become engrossed in my own to do lists and concerns. I don’t want Him to pass me by because I wasn’t listening.

    Your last verse, Acts 17:26-27 is similar to a phrase from a favorite, Psalm 16. Lately, a phrase from it has been going through my mind when I am tempted to complain: “Your boundary lines fall for me in pleasant places.” Even in suffering, God is both providing for me and protecting me. My lot is secure when I know God establishes the boundaries even of heartache. I don’t have to be shaken!

    Here’s the context, Psalm 16: 5-7:
    “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
    6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
    7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
    8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

    1. Thank you for the lesson on Psalm 16:5-7! I have always loved the visual of boundary lines falling in pleasant places.

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Planting and Watering

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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