We know that ours is a dangerous world; but we are also told to trust God. How does this knowledge fit together with this advice?
Some say that, given a world like ours, it makes no sense to trust God.
Some believers place their trust in God in such a way that they feel just fine about remaining ignorant and inactive in their response to dangers.
Some who believe in God experience some degree of anxiety, unravelling of trust, when reading or hearing and seeing gripping reports of some present and worsening danger.
And many people know intellectually that trust in God is consistent with being informed and active in helping this world to stabilize and progress; but they could profit from a stronger understanding.
Why did God create an imperfect world where so many things could go so seriously wrong? When we’re struggling, we may hardly be able even to imagine an answer. But Jesus prayed, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” There is a realm where the will of God is done. And however little we understand the divine purpose, we who have tasted the goodness of God have a foundation for trust in his plan. Our loving Father in heaven chose to create an evolutionary realm which begins in imperfection and is called to perfection (“Be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect”). The divine venture in bringing forth an evolutionary creation is magnificent in its significance and tremendous in its scope. The very thought that we have some role, however small, to play in this process should thrill us to the core.
But why would a wise, powerful, and good Creator give us the freedom to be so destructive? Our freedom is limited, but we need enough freedom to be able to make the great decision to say YES to God with every fiber of our being. Mercifully, God accepts the beginner’s faith of a child, welcomes us into his family, and gives us the promise of eventual transformation and enduring life. But the freedom required to say YES is the same freedom that can inflict terrible harm.
In this time of stress—and progress—around the world, mature faith remembers the invisible forces on the side of truth, beauty, goodness and love, forces that will never be taken into account in the news media. God loves us too much to do for us what we can do for ourselves. We can learn to cooperate with him and with one another. The more we do so, the more we see the power of God working with those who join in, who will one day see this world move into a settled and progressive march toward a grand planetary civilization.
Those of us who understand these things have the privilege of letting our light shine effectively. We may disagree about the analysis of dangers and their specific solutions, but we do not need intellectual uniformity to experience spiritual unity, which transforms teamwork by revealing to us who our neighbors, associates, and team-members truly are: each one is a divinely created, infinitely loved, spiritually indwelt, evolutionary, free-will son or daughter of God. That realization of the universal family brings today salvation for the individual and in the future a planetary spiritual renaissance.