The Times that Try Men’s Souls

Dr. Marc Drake, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Sun Lakes, Arizona

Many of us have visited places like Mammoth Cave or Carlsbad Caverns. The guide will usually turn out the lights to show just how dark the darkness can be. And it seems to be darkness you can even feel; it’s a relief when the lights come back on! On a spiritual level, many of us are praying that the “lights” will come back on in our nation.

Recently, I heard a speaker say that our culture is catechizing us. If you happened to grow up learning a Bible-based catechism, then you know that it is a teaching tool comprised of questions and answers that many Christian parents use with their children. So, when the speaker said that the culture is catechizing us, he certainly did not intend that as a positive statement! For he knows, as we all do, that the culture by and large is communicating everything except biblical truth.

Consequently, a moral shift of seismic proportions has been taking place in our nation. What has caused such a shift? It is an identity crisis resulting from a failure to understand what it means to be human. And to gain the right understanding, is to grasp the teaching of Genesis 1:27 that God created people in His own image and made them male and female. You see, being created in his image is the very thing that distinguishes humans from the rest of God’s creatures. But because this truth is either unknown, misunderstood, or outright rejected, we find ourselves in a culture with an enormous identity crisis. Thus, we can understand why there is so much irrational thinking in our day—even to the point where people refuse to acknowledge clear biological differences between men and women. This identity crisis is also causing many to attempt the transition from one gender to the other. And, tragically, even small children have been victimized by this worldview that denies the truth of Scripture and searches for meaning and satisfaction apart from God.

Yes, this is surely a day of vast cultural confusion. Yet, God has placed us in this cultural moment to bring the light of Jesus Christ to the spiritual darkness of our nation and world. Isaiah 50:10 says, “Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.” For he is always faithful, always caring, always merciful, always able to help, and has clearly revealed Himself in the Person of his Son on the pages of Scripture. We can rely on the Lord fully—even in “times that try men’s souls,” as Thomas Paine put it. So, as we walk in the light by seeking God in his Word and through prayer, we will also be able to shine his light on the descending spiritual darkness in our land.

Where the light shines, the darkness flees!