Marc Drake, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Sun Lakes
Now that the year 2020 is in the record books, I’m sure we all have hopes that 2021 will be quite different! But will it? Only God knows for sure. He has His purposes that he is carrying out, and we can rejoice that He is in charge. The Lord says in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Americans are not known for “being still.” And little wonder when you consider the Information Age of which we are all a part. For example, data from just a few years ago says that, each day, 500 million tweets are sent, four million hours of content are uploaded to YouTube, 4.3 billion Facebook messages are posted, six billion Google searches are conducted, and 205 billion emails are sent. Life in our day is busy and noisy and can distract us from far more important matters. In fact, we are often shaped by our culture and, as a result, we find it hard to imagine life without devices that bring immediate information to our fingertips and earbuds. But does any of this translate into wisdom? Consider these very insightful and challenging words from writer T. S. Eliot who wrote them more than eight decades ago:
“The endless cycle of idea and action, endless invention, endless experiment, brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness; knowledge of speech, but not of silence; knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word. All our knowledge brings us nearer to death, but nearness to death no nearer to God. Where is the life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”
Living in such a technological age as ours tempts us to confuse information with knowledge and, thus, decline the pursuit of wisdom. But true knowledge that leads to wisdom comes from spending time with God in His Word. To choose a different course of action is to find only anxiety and uncertainty in life. King David clearly understood this reality and shows in Psalm 131 that though there is much he cannot understand rightly, he will simply entrust those things to God. As a result, he will be at peace. David says, “But I have calmed and quieted my soul” (v.2).
Yes, there’s wisdom in turning off the screens and devices and quieting our souls before the Lord. There is wisdom in seeking Him daily in the Scriptures. King David also wanted this stillness and quietness of soul for his nation as well. He says, “O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore” (v.3). Now there’s the answer for 2021: Hope in the Lord! And as the Apostle Paul put it in writing to believers, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27)