How to Live in a Broken World

Over the past week I have been thinking a lot about this world God has called us to live in. As I did my heart became heavy and I felt, even to a small degree, the pain we see all around us. My tender heart cries with the Psalmist, “How long oh Lord?” (Psalm 13). How long must we endure the pain of a lost love one? How long must we endure physical aches and pains in this life? How long will you allow injustice to continue? How long?
I believe in my four years at Covenant I have felt and asked this much more frequently. I see a world that is not what it is suppose to be. I see it groaning, longing for something better.
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:22-23). 
I think each of us have felt this at sometime or another. The reality is, God has put us here, in this broken world, and we as his people are asking, “How shall we then live?”
What is our response to the brokenness we each see and experience? I can say, my response is often not what it should be. Sometimes, I just want to withdraw and unengaged. But, that is not what God calls us to. Isaiah says in Isaiah 58 that God wants his people to loose the bonds of wickedness, undo the straps of the yoke, let the oppressed go free, share bread with the hungry, and he goes on. We as his people are to be active and engaged in the face of brokenness and pain.
So what can this actually look like, and does look like? I think first we can be informed by Romans 12:15: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” To do this requires that we notice and pay attention to those around us who are rejoicing and weeping. We have to be willing to feel the hurt and joys of others that are not our own. Paul does not say that it is our job to change how a person feels but to feel with them.
We also are not to be a hopeless people. Romans 8 continues by reminding us that this is not the way it’s always going to be. We have hope for the redemption of our bodies and the restoration of the whole of creation (Romans 8:23). As we trust and hope in Christ and his promises we patiently wait and endure knowing what he has said will take place.
Finally, we can learn from Romans that we can not do this on our own. We have a God who dwells with us and in us. Paul says that “the Spirit helps us in our weakness” and intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” We often feel overwhelmed when we see our friends hurting and disadvantaged people; or when we experience the loss of a loved one or the sting of broken trust. Do not try to force yourself to feel differently or feel less. Feel deeply and let it move you to trust God more completely.