Underestimating God, Overestimating Evil

Kenneth Westby


The big event has happened, its now 2000 AD! Your friends at ACD join in wishing you your best year yet. I know that God can make it so.

As we make the big turn into the year 2000 fears of evil and the unknown abound. But I don’t think such fears are justified—certainly not in the hearts of those who know God. Yet Christians have been among the most caught-up with paranoia over Y2K doomsday forecasts. Why?

We underestimate God and we overestimate evil. We don’t see what God is doing and conclude that he is doing nothing. We see everything that evil is doing and think it is in control of everyone. The problem is that our eyes see only what our mind is prepared to comprehend. If comprehending God and his activities are off our radar scope, we won’t have a grip on reality—"true reality." We think we see things as they are, but we’re dead wrong.

I’m not suggesting we naively ignore evil, but that we not allow it to intimidate us. A great truth of Scripture—an oft neglected one—is that God uses evil men to accomplish his good ends. Eugene H. Peterson explains, "The great paradox of judgment is that evil becomes fuel in the furnace of salvation" (Run With The Horses, IVP, 1983). Evil can never halt the Will of Yahweh.

To see God’s will active in our lives and in our world requires a special, unobstructed vision. I don’t refer to a subjective personal "vision," but to seeing things with a spiritual awareness; seeing events in the big picture, framed in their true context with God as Sovereign over all—including the kingdoms of men (Daniel 4:25). If God is not in our field of sight our sense of proportion is lost. We end up looking down at the dirt and from it trying to construct sense of the world.

"If we forget that the newspapers are footnotes to Scripture and not the other way around," warns Peterson, "we will finally be afraid to get out of bed in the morning. Too many of us spend far too much time with the editorial page and not nearly enough with the prophetic vision. We get our interpretation of politics and economics and morals from journalists when we should be getting only information; the meaning of the world is most accurately given to us by God’s Word."

The Bible’s prophetic vision centers on the Kingdom of God—the Gospel. That news is entirely good and beautiful—even fantastic! Let it become the prism through which you view life. No rose colored glasses these, but "glasses" that resolve and focus truth, that bring peace and confidence, and that give clarity to what our great and loving God is doing. The evil around us is ultimately fuel in the furnace of Salvation. The year 2000 in nothing but a step closer to the object of our prayer, "Thy Kingdom Come."

Clear vision—with eyes centered on God—is ever more required of you and me as the foretold hour of world-wide deception nears. Enter the 2000s with eyes wide open.