It would hardly be a bold statement to say that we are in tumultuous, chaotic times. There is more tension in the atmosphere with every controversial headline or international tragedy. Wars and rumors of wars loom in the background of not only news panels, but household conversations the world over. Politics reach a higher crescendo of polarization every day, it seems. The economy threatens to tank, and prices continue to rise for every kind of good you can imagine.
It was this kind of scenario that Paul referred to when he told Timothy to pray for times of peace:
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth… (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
Notice why Paul tells Timothy to pray for and seek out a quiet, peaceable life – because God desires all men to be saved.
We pray for peace not for our own comfort or because that means the kingdom of God has arrived, but because those times provide us an opportunity to work toward furthering the goals of that kingdom. Peace and prosperity by this life’s standards are not the ideal for which the Lord wants us to strive.
Easier times are a means to an end. When we pray for the economy to improve or politics to settle down, we shouldn’t do so in vain. We need to learn from the hard times and preach the gospel with more zeal whenever we have the chance. And don’t forget – even with the troubles of the world, history is fraught with persecution much worse than what many believers face today. Generations of Christians have faced hostile odds to spread the message of Jesus Christ to all.
It is very clear from the nature of the world that we have not yet achieved that goal. Many more people need to hear the good news of Christ before our time is up. If we are granted a reprieve, we must not rest on our laurels, but use that time to work even harder.
To learn more about furthering God’s kingdom, check out some of the online Bible studies at International School of the word. Consider starting with Upside Down Life or No Limits. Visit www.ISOW.org today to get started on an affordable online biblical education!