How to stop being miserable

Robin Schumacher
Courtesy of Robin Schumacher

I’ve been making myself miserable lately. How so, you ask?

For starters, it’s hard to turn around these days without being assaulted by bombasts coming from every direction. We have literally minute-by-minute broadcasts of panic porn pouring out of the mainstream media designed to not broadcast truth, but rather weaponized misinformation that buoys their own political agenda with no desire to even try and hide that fact anymore.

The double standard employed by the leftist propaganda machines is breathtaking. For example, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s racism is overlooked while America’s founding fathers are derided because of their supposed racist beliefs. Mobs decry police using guns but refuse to see that police wouldn’t use guns so often if criminals didn’t carry and use them so often.

If you’re someone like me who hates to see lies and deception spread, you naturally get engaged to counter the false assertions being made. As C. S. Lewis said, “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.”     

And it’s one thing for lies to be constantly circulated, but it’s another for so many people to swallow them hook, line, and sinker. I oftentimes sit in disbelief watching this play out each day, which then turns into churning heartburn-like agony at night as I wonder how anyone can believe such falsehoods.

As an example, the blatant belching forth of anti-God neo-Marxism in America has been absolutely bewildering to behold, especially given its history. Its past, along with the phony narrative it peddles, is captured well in an excerpt from a speech given by Jordan Peterson a few years ago that ends with a very stark warning: “They were motivated by resentment and hatred right from the beginning. But you could make the case that at least they had the benefit of ignorance, but they don’t have that now. I don’t know how much more proof you need. If you need more proof than the 20th century provided, then the next layer of proof is going to be the annihilation of everything.”

Fretting over these and other events like them has resulted in me becoming irritable and glum.

Fortunately, my podcast rotation recently included a couple of sermons on the book of Daniel from one of my favorite pastors. They supplied me with a great reminder of why I shouldn’t get so worked up even when it feels like the world has been overtaken by escaped mental patients.

Daniel to the rescue

Daniel is, hands down, my favorite book in the Old Testament. There are many amazing things the book provides, including some of the most stunning prophecies in all the Bible. But the primary theme of the book that overshadows everything else is the sovereignty of God.

Daniel and his countrymen were firmly in the hands of the nation that represents everything that is anti-God in Scripture: Babylon. I can only imagine the hurt and confusion that afflicted him because of that.

But the astonishing thing is, the first two verses in the book tells us that God is the one who made it happen: “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand” (my emphasis).

This sets the tone for the entire book, which is that God controls everything that happens, even things that appear to be absolutely appalling and against what we would consider best. Later in the book we read statements like:

"Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him" (Dan. 2:20–22).

"The Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes and sets over it the lowliest of men” (Dan. 4:17).

All throughout the Bible, God tells us He commands all nations and not one molecule is outside His influence. This fact is highlighted in Isaiah where God speaks in the past tense about future events: “The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, 'Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand'” (14:24).

I don’t know about you, but this truth allows me to catch my breath during times like these and provides great comfort and peace when things seem so chaotic and depressing.

Sovereignty over the individual

If God controls what nations do, it stands to reason that He is in control of what each individual does and thinks.

Ever wonder why people believe the things they do? Daniel tells us: “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (4:35).

We like to think we’re in charge of ourselves, but in reality, “A person’s steps are directed by the LORD” (Prov. 20:24) and “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Prov. 21:1).  

The fact is, God determines everything about us including our personal beliefs and the truths/lies we absorb. You see this play out in the New Testament where Jesus uses parables to provide light to His people alone, leaving others in darkness: “And the disciples came and said to Him, 'Why do You speak to them in parables?' Jesus answered them, 'To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand'" (Matt. 13: 10-11, 13, my emphasis).

Another example of this in action involves the end times where God causes those who reject Him, and instead embrace the antichrist, to be deceived: “For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness” (2 Thess. 2:11-12).

Comfort in the face of adversity

In the same way it must have deeply hurt Daniel to see Israel taken captive by Babylon, it truly sickens my soul to see a new Babylonian captivity happening in America.

Scripture tells us, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 33:12). But the Bible also tells us what happens to a people that reject Him: “The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, until there was no remedy” (2 Chron. 36:15–16).

We’re seeing the outworkings of this play out now and the scenario Webster warned us about so long ago: “The principles of all genuine liberty and of wise laws and administrations, are to be drawn from the Bible and sustained by its authority. The man, therefore, who weakens or destroys the divine authority of that book may be an accessory to all of the public disorders which society is doomed to suffer.”

But just as the book of Daniel tells us that Israel was, for a time, given to Babylon by God, I take comfort in the fact that our Creator is firmly in control of America’s destiny and know that what’s currently happening is part of His divine plan.

I hope you’ll join me in continuing to pray for revival, a return to God, and remember that nothing short-circuits anxiety and misery like the doctrine of divine sovereignty. 

Robin Schumacher is a former software executive and Christian apologist who has written many apologetic articles, appeared on nationally syndicated radio programs, and presented at various apologetic events. He holds a Master's in Christian apologetics and a Ph.D. in New Testament.

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