We can all appreciate the lists and commentaries put out concerning the top ten stories or trends of the previous year. Such lists give us an opportunity to reflect upon triumphs, tragedies, good decisions, or mistakes. Certain events stir strong emotions once again as we relive a devastating disaster, an incredible rescue, or a miraculous survival story. We can put smaller trends in the context of a larger movement and attempt to make proper adjustments for the future. And as Christians look through the lens of Scripture, they can trace the hand of God if only generally and find a renewed sense of peace in Him regardless of what happens in this world.
That last reality is actually the point: the top story of 2010 is God's action in our world. After all, history is His story. Jay Younts, a dear friend, reminded me a number of years ago most newscasters and news stories never tell the whole truth and never get to the real point. Nobody talks about God's providence and what He's doing in the midst of the latest snow storm but only of accumulation levels, temperature levels, school closings, and the like. We don't talk about God bringing it to pass but only of low or high pressure systems. We don't ask ourselves the question, "What's God doing by bringing a snow storm big enough to shut down the city for a few days?" "Does He want us to think about Him; to reflect on what's most important; or to take stock of our lives and activities in light of His reality?"
Speaking to the eminent philosophers of Athens, Paul said this:
God has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us (Acts 17:26-27).
God has determined the times and lives of men so that they would seek Him. In other words, God moves in our world so that men will seek Him. Whether the news story is a volcanic eruption that covers the skies of Europe and suspends air travel, the emergence of the Tea Party, heated debates over health care, the BP oil spill, the incredible survival of Chilean miners, continued fighting in Afghanistan, a crippling snow storm, or whatever, God is behind it all so that men would seek Him. He wants people to see the news from a different perspective - the ultimate perspective - His perspective. As I watch a news story I should ask myself, "What's God doing? How should I think about Him in light of this? How can I seek Him in light of His action?"
So, the next time you're watching CNN or Fox News, understand they're not telling you the whole story; they're not telling you the truth about God. And make no mistake: I'm not giving you a quaint way to think about the news. Everything comes down to worldview. You either have a true worldview or you don't. You see things for what they are or you miss the point.
It's not that I don't appreciate journalists and broadcasters. I most certainly do. But I also know the world has a different agenda than God. People don't understand until they're confronted with His reality. And yes, there are Christians who work as network broadcasters for example who can't very well give God's perspective when they give the news. But that doesn't mean that God is not the definitive actor and it doesn't mean that we don't have to seek Him in it. It's because of God's purpose that we're compelled to seek Him in the midst of everything, including the evening news. It gets our focus where it ought to be and provides the benefit God has for us.
In the end, the BP oil spill was a big story, but what God was and is doing in it is more profound. When you're reflecting on the top stories of the past year, don't forget to seek the Lord. It's the most important news and analysis you'll ever hear.
Dr. Paul Dean invites you to discover more about yourself, God, and others . . . and develop a Christian worldview. Dr. Dean is a pastor, cultural commentator, and author. Receive a FREE commentary and learn more at http://www.trueworldview.com
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About Paul Dean
Dr. Paul Dean is a pastor, cultural commentator, and author. He serves as a Regional Mentor with the International Association of Biblical Counselors, speaks at several conferences throughout the year, and provides training for ministers and churches on a regular basis. Paul resides in the Upstate of South Carolina with his wife and three children.
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