In June 2020—smack in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic—the tiny nation of Fiji in the South Pacific made a tempting proposition to a very small number of people around the globe.
Frank Bainimarama, Fiji’s prime minister, announced he was looking for a few “VIPs” to shelter in paradise during the outbreak and help restore his nation’s economy.
“Say you’re a billionaire looking to fly your own jet, rent your own island, and invest millions of dollars in Fiji in the process,” wrote Bainimarama. “If you’ve taken all the necessary health precautions and borne all associated costs, you may have a new home to escape the pandemic in paradise.”
What a proposal! Unfortunately, there are only about two thousand billionaires on the planet, which is one reason why you and I have been forced to endure the various catastrophes of recent years rather than escape them.
And we have encountered many disrupting events, even beyond the global pandemic that stopped so much of our “regular” lives in their tracks so quickly. We’ve seen economic collapse and financial despair. We’ve seen fires ravaging the western United States, earthquakes shaking the foundations of cities around the world, and hurricanes and floods destroying homes and taking lives. We’ve seen violence in the streets and cries of injustice across communities. And as I write this, the United States is a month away from an election that has already caused more division and strife than any in recent memory.
Had enough? Me too.
There have been tumultuous times in the past as well. Remember World War I, Pearl Harbor, D-Day, the atomic bomb, the revolutions of the 1960s, and the fall of the Berlin Wall? Remember 9/11, the more recent wars in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, and the war on terror? Remember the economic downfall in 2008? There is no doubt we have encountered political unrest and worldwide disease and economic failure in the past, but I would suggest that there’s never been a time in our collective memory like this current moment—the world is in turmoil.
But don’t be discouraged when difficult days seemingly surround us. Just before Jesus Christ returns to earth, keeping the promise He made to His disciples, the Bible says a troubling time will arrive. And, my friends, it’s quite possible that we have entered the early stages of those events.
In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, we are told: “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:1–3).
As I think about that passage, I find myself observing how that metaphor about labor pains perfectly fits the headlines I’ve been reading. An expectant mother endures quite a trial as she prepares for the birth of her child. She has morning sickness, she goes through all kinds of other drastic bodily changes, and then the labor pains arrive. As that child prepares to enter the world, the mother’s discomfort is amplified—it’s a message that God doesn’t want her to miss. Rejoice! Your child is on the way!
Similarly, our world is in pain even now. We will feel it as the nations quake. Yet we can cry out, “Rejoice! Your redemption is near!” This pain, this confusion, this anxiety is only for a little while longer. Let’s return to that frightening term catastrophe. It’s an odd four-syllable word, isn’t it? In fact, it represents the union of two Greek words: cata, meaning “over,” and strophe, meaning “to turn.” The full picture is one of overthrow, of everything turning over in sudden and violent change.
You and I have experienced that kind of change, that kind of violence—the world turning over in chaotic spasms. And each time we experience it anew, we are confronted with that same critical question: “Is there any way to live with confidence in a chaotic world?”
It’s a question we need to answer. You see, we no longer have the luxury of sitting back in our recliners, stroking our chins, and examining this spectacle from some distance. Because of our increasingly connected world, we are now all players in global events. When one nation struggles, we all struggle. When yet another catastrophe strikes, we’re all affected.
We need a plan, and we need one as quickly as possible.
Thankfully, we can find that plan within the pages of God’s Word. As I have scoured the books of the New Testament, I discovered ten practical strategies to help us live with confidence in a chaotic world. Each one assures us of Christ’s return and shows us how to live until then. What a blessing it is to know the right way to respond when our challenges exceed our courage!
As we face the uncertainty of our troubled generation, we cannot afford to turn away from the priceless counsel of the Word of God. We need it more than ever because it provides a firm foundation even when the world seems in the grip of quicksand’s undertow.
I feel the anxiety of these times, but I also draw profound peace from the promise that Jesus gave to His disciples—that includes you and me—in the Upper Room. He told them that He would never leave them without comfort: “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:26–27).
In those words I can hear Jesus speaking to our generation. He assured us that we do not need to live in fear, no matter what the headlines say. Jobs can be lost, homes can be destroyed, but the love of Christ is forever. Understanding that truth calms our spirits and allows us to begin thinking—really thinking—about the new world around us.
In the midst of it all we can place our trust in the promises, power, and love of almighty God, and we can live with confidence in an age of chaos.
WHY YOU NEED THIS BOOK
Confidence can be hard to come by these days. People are losing their jobs, their houses, and their life savings at an unprecedented rate. Violence, natural disasters, and moral depravity seem to be skyrocketing. In the midst of all this chaos, we need to know . . . what on earth should we do now?
New York Times bestselling author, founder of Turning Point Ministries and beloved senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Church Community Church, Dr. David Jeremiah brings a message of hope and confidence from the priceless counsel of the Word of God. He answers our most urgent questions, including:
- How can we weather this storm with a calm heart?
- What does it truly mean to “wait on the Lord”?
- What is Jesus saying to our chaotic world today?
- How on earth did we get into this mess?
- Can we take a broken world and rebuild it into something fruitful?
In this updated classic, Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World shows us all that with the power and love of Almighty God, we can live with confidence in this age of turmoil.