Destructive forces are at work in the city. (Ps. 55:11)

THIS PSALM CAPTURES our very real distress when we witness the way of the world. Violence, strife, threats, and lies seem to have free reign all around us. What could we possibly do to alleviate any of this suffering?

It seems there is very little hope offered in this Psalm. That’s OK. The writer is just being honest. One of the beauties of the Psalms is their raw vulnerability. We miss out on something significant in the life of God if we shy away from such honesty. Just as John Wesley instructed to take a broad view of all of Scripture, we must allow hopelessness to have its time in our beings. But then, we look to a passage like we find in James’ letter and we see a glimmer of what we might do.

No, we likely can’t bring an end to all betrayal, strife, and violence. But we can love one person through our actions. We can join in solidarity with someone the city has deemed unlovable. We can see Jesus in another person, and be Jesus to them in our actions. We can do the Word we know. And one person at a time, one moment at a time, one act of love at a time, we can begin to see the salvation of the city.

Allow yourself to feel hopeless, then act in hope.

Brian Niece is a former pastor who is now pursuing a PhD, writing, spending time with his wife and three kids, and watching way too much football.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.