Wanted: Spiritual Vision (Apply Within)

For February 2, 2020
Disenchantment is a prevalent problem facing our world today. We can observe it in the lives of those who express doubt and uncertainty about their future. Who experience lives that lack purpose, meaning, and significance, and they turn to the use of illicit drugs and alcohol their coping mechanism.

In its December 18, 2019 online report1, the National Institute of Drug Abuse under the National Institutes of Health reported a significant increase of teenage marijuana vaping:

Past year vaping of marijuana, which has more than doubled in the past two years, was reported at 20.8% among 12th graders, with 10th graders not far behind at 19.4% and eighth graders at 7.0%. Past month marijuana vaping among 12th graders nearly doubled in a single year to 14% from 7.5%–the second largest one-year jump ever tracked for any substance in the history of the survey…Marijuana continues to be the most commonly used illicit drug by adolescents. After remaining mostly stable for many years, daily use of marijuana went up significantly since 2018 among eighth and 10th graders–now at 1.3% and 4.8% respectively.

Some have chosen suicide as a means to address disenchantment. Here, if one feels there are no absolutes, (e.g., God, Jesus, Heaven, Hell, eternal life, etc.), so the question is asked is: Why should my life matter? Certainly not all cases follow this thought progression per the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Instead, their findings indicate suicides often occur when a person experiences stressors that exceed his or her coping abilities. The Foundation observed the following trends as well2:

      • The age-adjusted suicide rate in 2018 was 14.2 per 100,000 individuals.
      • The rate of suicide is highest in middle-age white men in particular.
      • In 2017, men died by suicide 3.54x more often than women.
      • On average, there are 129 suicides per day.
      • White males accounted for 69.67% of suicide deaths in 2017.
      • In 2017, firearms accounted for 50.57% of all suicide deaths.

Recently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention established a website to address our fears and concerns about the current norovirus threat to our national/global health at: https://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/index.html.

Even more telling is how our doubt and spiritual uncertainty are significant problems we face today according to a recent Barna study:3

Two-thirds of all self-identified Christians or past Christians (66%) admit to experiencing a season of spiritual doubt. More than a quarter (26%) still find themselves doubting…A common response during times of doubt was to quit attending church (46%). Three in 10 stopped reading the Bible (30%) or praying (28%). One in four (24%) ceased discussing spirituality, God, or religion with their friends and families, but such community is also the place they were most likely to turn for help (40%).

However, our worry, fear, and disenchanted can be linked to our lack of spiritual vision as Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) teaches:

Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Barna further observes:

While 40 percent feel they have worked through their faith crisis…Twenty-nine percent sought answers in the Bible and one in five looked to church (21%), a spouse (19%), or a pastor or spiritual leader (19). Some addressed their doubt with spiritual or religious books (16%), online resources (12%), counseling (5%), or conferences and retreats (3%). For the most part, these approaches worked; 52 percent of these Christians say their faith is now stronger or at least unchanged (28%).

Our greatest need is spiritual vision that will honor God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Here our greatest objective is to love the Lord first and foremost, love others, and love ourselves using His Word as our guide. Psalm 1:2-3 (NLT) reads:

But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.

Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are assured of God’s faithfulness in everything we experience. Along with the forgiveness of sin secured by His death on the cross, the Lord also provides spiritual vision through His Word, which brings us both direction, comfort, and true fulfillment.

Christians are not exempt from trouble. However, we can be certain that as we experience trials, the Lord comes to the rescue each time” as Psalm 34:19 (NLT) teaches. As we trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we diligently serve Him, and we commit our lives to Him totally, we shall discover the rich, fulfilling life He promises for this life and the next. This is true spiritual vision.

What a Wonderful Savior!

  1. Please see: https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2019/12/vaping-marijuana-rise-among-teens.
  2. Please see: https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/.
  3. Please see: The Barna Group, Barna Trends 2018: What’s New and What’s Next at the Intersection of Faith and Culture, (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2017) 132.