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Viewpoint

In today’s media-saturated America, everyone has an opinion. From Bill O’Reilly to Chris Matthews, Rush Limbaugh to Rachel Maddow – there is no shortage of viewpoints. But how many of those perspectives bring you back to a place of passionate, persistent prayer for the nation?

“Viewpoint” allows the expression on the political, social and moral issues of the day. At times, you may not agree. But in the end, you will be energized to pray for America, with the prism of Scripture and a decidedly Godly direction as your guide. Plus, you can blog your comments to every article, have your say.

Read – then pray with an enlightened, more informed viewpoint for your nation and its leaders. 

Asteroids, Accidents, and ‘Expect Amazing’

View Point

God’s power and goodness never fail nor wane

By Nikolas Grosfield

If you ever refuse to be surprised by bad news, you might still be surprised by how it is reported.

For example, have you ever noticed how many elections are “the most important ever”? Or have you ever seen the same name behind the majority of doomsday articles in your local newspaper? Or do you spot headlines with terminology that is culturally sensitive but is even more culturally biased?

Last month, NASA announced that a large asteroid that has been passing relatively close to Earth for the past few decades could threaten our world next century. About the year 2135, “Bennu”—which is “larger than the Empire State Building”—might pass between this world and the moon. According to one report, “it may be destined to cause immense suffering and death.”

Dramatic enough? Such warnings and comparisons in one sense aid the reader’s comprehension. But the same report carries an artist’s impression of an asteroid the size of a state or small nation impacting Earth—hardly representative of the present hazard. Meanwhile, another report missed the 1-in-2000+ chance that impact will happen and instead proclaimed the asteroid is “estimated to pulverize” the world in 119 years. Sadly, this was a Christian publication.

Various articles note the effort NASA is making to counteract this and other space-based risks to life on “the pale blue dot.” A probe is set to launch next month to study “Bennu’s” own inherent risks and to learn more about asteroids in general. A webpage with the calming headline “Bennu asteroid may destroy Earth in 22nd century” concludes as follows: “We’re bound to get unlucky someday, and this type of research just might save us in the end.”

One notable omission in the research for this article was that 2135 is a long time from now—and who knows what technological advances humans might make between now and then. If, in a few decades, we learned how to destroy cities with one bomb, land on the moon, and develop a global communications network, why might deflecting or destroying a space menace not be the work of average engineers in a century’s time? Indeed, perhaps this should be one of NASA’s own long-term objectives.

Another predictable exclusion in articles about “Bennu” was any scriptural prophecy. Obviously, if the Bible is true that great carnage will come in the final days before Jesus returns, perils from the cosmos may just do the job. See Joel 2, Matthew 24, Luke 21, or Revelation 6 and 8 for some texts on this issue. Of course, the “end times” may come long before or long after 2135.

But the greatest oversight of all in Armageddon-like language regarding possible planet-asteroid collisions was any search for answers or hope in Almighty God. This lapse often occurs in media commentary on accidents, disasters, crimes, bad policies, and even wars. At least for the follower of Christ, peace and joy can prevail in these frightful trials because of Him who spoke everything into being.

This is not fatalism, whereby the Christian sits and watches the world crumble around him. Faith in scripture inspires constant prayer and action—while providing proper perspective. As English commentator Matthew Henry wrote: “Faith respects the promise, hope the thing promised.”

Neither is this a “prosperity gospel,” wherein believing or trying hard enough automatically frees oneself of poverty, pain, suffering, and danger. From Joseph to Job to Jesus Himself, the Bible proves that faith and obedience do not always prevent extreme hardship.

Many Bible verses testify of the greatness and goodness of a holy and powerful God. But to offer a light ending, consider a personal memory from the Middle Eastern city of Doha, Qatar.

In my first of four years there, this small cosmopolitan nation won its bid to host the 2022 World Cup—under the slogan “Expect Amazing.” Idiomatic English might prescribe “Expect Amazing Things” or “Expect the Amazing.” But “Expect Amazing” did the trick, and it is posted on signs throughout the capital.

But expatriate and linguistic joking aside, this phrase may be fitting for “the Holy and Righteous One…the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead.” (Acts 3) Indeed, for those who know Jesus, perhaps His will and work can only lead one to “expect amazing.”

Please pray for the:

Nikolas Grosfield is a writer from Montana. His work has appeared 180 times in national, local, and other media outlets. He earned a B.A. in History at Cedarville University, lived five years in the Middle East and East Africa. He is a devoted child of God, husband of Elsbeth, and daddy of Oliver and Elias.




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