by Charles R. Swindoll
Paul certainly proved himself a prophet when he wrote: "But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1).
And when he predicted: "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these" (2 Tim. 3:1-5), he foresaw exactly what would transpire. Sounds like he was describing life in the twenty-first century.
Cynthia and I have a long-time friend who is fighting colon cancer. Following major surgery she is now undergoing extensive chemotherapy. The other day she and another woman went shopping at a mall in Fort Lauderdale. As they got out of the car, our friend was mugged. The attacker slammed her against the car, then brutally flung her to the pavement and began kicking her mercilessly—all in broad daylight. A stranger stepped in to rescue her, and the attacker punched him repeatedly, breaking several of his teeth. The motive? Rape? No. Robbery? No. Carjacking? No. The police said it's a new fad . . . randomly assaulting strangers for the sadistic excitement of bringing blood and causing another human being pain.
Ours is a bad, bad world, but does that mean nothing's good? Does it mean we have run out of things for which to be grateful? No, no, a thousand times, no!
Bob Green, a newspaper columnist, invited his readers to look on the bright side for a change and send him some of the good things about life in America. More than 50,000 things came pouring across his desk. Things like a newborn baby's cry of life, Mr. Rogers, literacy volunteers, Special Olympics, sweet corn in August, town meetings, state fairs, and fresh blackberry cobbler. There are thousands more. Let's deliberately take time to smell the flowers as we call to mind all the good things in a bad, bad world.
Make your own list of "good things."
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.