In 1961 a West End musical premiered in London called, Stop The World – I Want To Get Off. Since then it’s been a familiar catchphrase that one exclaims when situations in life become tough. Perhaps that saying comes to the mind of many as eyes are watching global events. The world seems to have gone crazy. Crime rates are staggering. Covid infection is on the rise again. Economies are weakening. Governments are becoming dictatorial; democracy redefined into governments seeking to enforce its will upon the people, rather than the people choosing what is best for them. Weather patterns are unpredictable. Families continue to break apart; in fact, families as God designed them, are now considered archaic in structure. One may understandably shout — Stop the world! I want to get off!
When Jesus’ disciples walked the earth, their situations were also less than desirable. Rome caused havoc upon those declaring allegiance to Christ. Public worship of idols was commonplace. Demonic offerings of human sacrifice was not unusual. Christians were arrested, beaten, jailed, and often put to death. The Apostle John was arrested and exiled to the deserted island of Patmos. Peter was crucified upside down. Paul was arrested and beheaded. Their crime? Proclaiming the Good News of Jesus.
Even so, each one of them had the attitude of Paul when he said in Philippians 1:21, “For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” They displayed no attitude of, Stop the world, I want to get off. Instead, with fervor and great joy, they wanted to be lights shining in the world’s darkness around them. You and I can easily become disillusioned to the point our joy fades when our focus remains on world events. No matter what calamities goes on around us, we must be steadfast to keep our concentration on Jesus. Of course, that doesn’t mean we stick our heads in the sand, ignoring what’s going on around us; neither do we run around shouting in anger. Instead, we acknowledge there is darkness abounding, while proclaiming that Jesus is the answer to all the world’s unrest.
Satan is on a roll as he seeks to steal our joy, kill our peace, and destroy our hope. Let’s not despair with that as our focus. Let’s remember and remind each other that the purpose of Jesus is to give each of us a rich and satisfying life. He said that very thing in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they my have it more abundantly.” The life of Jesus and all He has provided for us is our joy, our peace, our hope. That is our personal focus and our personal goal to share with others. Personal relationship with Jesus provides all we need in this world and in eternity with Him.
No matter the growing darkness upon the earth, the Light of the world always shines brighter. Let’s not despair. Let’s press on. Let’s encourage each other. See the darkness that is out there and then look up — Jesus is our strength and help in the midst of all trouble. Nothing is too hard for Him. He is able to keep our hearts filled with sweet peace that passes all understanding.