Sufficient Unto The Day Is The Evil Thereof
By Jack Kinsella
That message was appended in reply back to an Omega Letter from one of our members. My first instinct was to reply with platitudes; a sort of Biblical version of the reggae song, ”Don’t Worry; Be Happy”.
“When you’re feeling sad and blue; / There’s one thing that you can do / Don’t worry; / Be Happy”
It’s sound advice. It’s even Scriptural:
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. ” (Matthew 6:33-34)
All that is well and good and we understand it on the spiritual level. But somehow, sometimes that doesn’t seem to be enough. Sometimes, the weight of this old world and where it is going is crushingly heavy.
Sometimes you just want to throw your hands up in despair and cry out, “I’m losing faith in everything. What’s the point?”
You mean it, but at the same time, not exactly. You are still going to heaven and you know it. Jesus is just as real. You are just as saved. But all the old landmarks you’re used to clinging to are swirling about.
It seemed so unbelievable. The country is adrift.
It just all seems so pointless…I’m losing faith in the common sense of the electorate, faith in my country, I feel betrayed by my friends, I know that I’m saved and all that…ok — what’s wrong with me?
As Christians, we live in a dual reality, with one foot in this existence and one in the next. As I see it, one could divide it along the lines of the ‘theoretical’ kind of Christianity and the ‘living’ kind.
The theoretical kind of Christianity is the kind we would live — if we could. It’s the kind we cry out to the Lord to bless us with. It’s the kind of Christianity we show when we’re at church.
That is supposed to be the only kind of Christianity there is. I call it ‘theoretical’ because it’s the one kind of Christianity there isn’t.
(If there was, then you wouldn’t know what I mean about crying out to God to be better. Or don’t you have to?)
The kind of Christian one is when one is around the pastor and the Christian one is when nobody is looking is the difference between theoretical Christianity and the kind of Christian that we know ourselves to be.
I recall writing on this subject once and receiving an indignant reply from a pastor who called me a heretic for contending that sincere Christians are big fakers when it comes to their Christian lives.
(Evidently, that guy doesn’t need to cry out anymore for God’s help in maintaining his Christian witness. He’s as good as he’s gonna get. Or something.)
Or maybe I’m just the worst sinner on earth and think that if everybody else is as weak and pathetic spiritually as I am, then maybe I’ll feel better about myself.
But that can’t be. The Apostle Paul said that HE was chief among sinners. Maybe back then, but I could show ol’ Paul a thing or two…but then, there’s folks worse than me, I guess. Or are there? There’s worse guys than me, surely?
How come everybody seems better at this than me…but I don’t know HOW I could be more sincere…
You can drive yourself nuts with this kind of thinking.
But Scripture promises us that,
“God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. ” (2nd Timothy 1:7)
We live on this earth, but our hope is for the world to come. We live on this earth, but we strive to be worthy of heaven. We live on this earth, but we seek to earn heavenly rewards at the Bema Seat.
We’ve stepped out as Christians and we know where we’re headed for eternity, but right now, all our weight is still on the foot planted on this old earth.
The key phrases here are ‘we live on this earth’ and ‘right now’.
It is the dichotomy of our existence that we have to operate according to the rules of this world while living according to the rules of heaven. We are here under orders to occupy until He comes.
It is a firmly understood principle of military doctrine that the enlisted members of an occupation force have an entrenched right to, well, to bitch about it.
(That strikes a note of crudeness. I beg your forgiveness. The word has a unique application when applied in the military sense.)
“I’m losing faith in everything. What’s the point?” But we know we’re saved. We know the Lord’s coming back soon.
The country’s in the toilet. What’s the point?
The Bible says the ‘fear’ (awesome reverential respect) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom is instinctively among the most honored of character traits — we’d all like to be known for our wisdom more so than our endearing smile or sunny disposition.
(“Cheerful fellow. Dumb as a bag of hammers, though“)
But wisdom is not the same as understanding. Wisdom is the product of the accumulation of knowledge (about the Lord, if one fears God). Wisdom comes first – fearing, and therefore trusting the Lord.
Follow along with me here and see the equation. Wisdom + knowledge = understanding. If you know how to drive, (wisdom) you know how to start and drive a car. (knowledge)
If you understand why a car’s engine works, (understanding) then when it doesn’t start, you have some idea of what needs fixing.
Understanding is the result of the application of wisdom plus knowledge.
Are you still with me? We’re about to turn to the Lord (wisdom) in the pursuit of knowledge (prophecy) in order to seek some understanding of the massive ideological earthquake that just rocked the American political landscape.
The reason is to see that our faith is still securely where we left it and that there is a definite point to everything. So let’s get to the point…
I’ve been sick for the better part of four months. I didn’t know what was wrong, but I was fairly sure it was serious. From the circumstances and the area affected I assumed it was Hepatitis C. How serious I didn’t know, but I knew I couldn’t keep you hanging forever. So I promised myself that as soon as I knew for certain, I would let you know.
This is hard — I don’t know if I’ve ever written anything that I thought was more difficult. When the doctors all filed into my room to tell me they could not think of anything more difficult to tell a patient, I thought they were talking about hepatitis C. They weren’t.
I wanted to wait until I had both a firm diagnosis and a firm prognosis. Prognosis isn’t any more cheerful. They were talking about inoperable liver cancer.
I am actually a lot more cheerful than I sound — the big tragedy is that I am having a terrible time focusing my thoughts at just about the time I need them most.
I fear that I will lose some of you — I understand why. It is hard to deal with death — especially when it is looming right in front of you. But I pray with all my heart that I won’t. I need you. I need your prayers. My family needs our OL family. You are my rock — without you and our forums to lean on, I don’t know what I’ll do.
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
So, there it is. The unvarnished truth. I don’t know how long I have left, but I am blessed by the knowledge that I know where I am going.
Takes all the sting out of it.
Originally Published: November 6, 2008.