6. Trust God – God’s in charge. Don’t you have faith? Why all the unhappiness about the church? Could it be that the unhappiness is in you and you’re projecting it outward and blaming others? Why not pray more and realize that God is still in charge. Don’t you see how he works in the world through our human weakness? Surely that’s the whole message of salvation history. God is working his purpose out not through everything being perfect all the time, but through our tragedies and travesties, through our failures and foibles, through our sin and sorrow. This is the beauty of the faith: that he turns the cross of Christ–the worst thing that could happen into the best thing that could happen. He’s doing the same thing with this messy institution we call the church. In his mysterious divine providence he’s using the church to accomplish his way in the world. Things will be well. All things will be well. Trust God.
7. Remember John 3:16-17 – At heart the basic message is the only message: “God so love the world that he gave his only Son so that all who believe in him shall have everlasting life. God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” Everything else springs from that message, and if we get too caught up in all the other stuff–even if the cause is good and righteous and our views are true and beautiful and good, but we forget this main message, then everything else we say and do will be skewed, our faith will be off track and our message will be meaningless.
8. Pray More – I mean really pray. Not only going through the actions and doing all the right devotions. I mean a heart rending, soul searching, mind bending, life changing, no holds barred, give it all you’ve got kind of prayer. Pray to know Jesus Christ and the power of his sufferings. Pray that you might be totally and utterly his. Pray that you might be made a saint before it is too late. Realize that your souls salvation and your walk with God and your love for Christ and your love for others is the one main thing. Focus on that and you’ll find that all those other things you are so worried about fall into line. It’s not that they are not important, its just that they are not the most important.
9. Remember to Take a Deep Breath and Be Thankful – Do you really have to get so worked up about the problems you can do nothing about? Love God. Love your family. Love your friends. Repent of your sins. Worship God. Be happy for once. Yes the world’s in a terrible state. It always has been. Yes, we’re on the brink of disaster. The Titanic has always been about to sink. Yes, the church is clattering along like an old jalopy. It has been so from the beginning. Yes, there are failures, disasters, traitors and cowards in the church. Are you sure you’re not one of them? If so, smile and be wrong. There is more grace is accepting that you are wrong than in insisting that you are right. Be thankful and do something beautiful, kind and good. Instead of complaining that the world is a terrible place try in your small way to make it a better place.
10. Be a Saint – The only great tragedy is not to be a saint. Read the lives of the saints and learn from them. Do not just read about them, but try to emulate them. Take a great risk of faith. Go on the adventure. Work with the poor, give sacrificially and live sacrificially. Life is short and time is wasting. Don’t waste too much of it being miserable and blaming others. Get with God and Go with God and be one of his joyful warriors. Be a saint and everything else will suddenly make sense.