IN telling his disciples about things to come, Christ Jesus spoke of ``men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.'' Many people may be ready to conclude that these days are upon us. They feel disillusioned, depressed. Many lose heart. This, however, is the thing we shouldn't do when faced with disheartening circumstances, because when Jesus warned men of eventual upheaval, he also said, ``When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.''1
Our freedom from fear and hopelessness can come as we begin to understand something of God's government of man and the universe. Christian Science, in accord with the spirit of the Bible, shows one how to look up, through enlightened prayer, to find God's ever-present, redeeming help. In the Old Testament the prophet Jeremiah exclaims: ``Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.''2
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony.''3 Challenges do seem hopeless to us if we believe God to be less than infinite, almighty good and if we think of man as separated from God, left to fend for himself in a haphazard material universe. But there is great reason for hope when we come to see that God is indeed the supreme benevolent power the Bible teaches Him to be and that man is His expression, inseparable from Him, loved by Him, secure in Him, governed by divine law.
The basis of Jesus' unfailing ability to subdue difficulties of every description was his practical understanding of divine law, his consciousness of man's spiritual relationship to God. He saw beyond the faulty, fleshly sense of man as a sinful or sick mortal to the reality of man as God's spiritual likeness. When we come to realize through prayer that God is continuously maintaining all in spiritual harmony and perfection, we can begin to see there is no hopeless situation, no insoluble problem, no matter how bad things look.
``But I have every right to feel depressed, downhearted,'' one may say. ``Personal problems are very challenging for me right now.'' But not even this places one in a hopeless situation, because prayer is being answered today through an understanding of what God and man really are, through an understanding that the actual status of man is spiritual perfection, transcending what the eye beholds. Christian Science shows any sincere, thoughtful seeker for freedom how he can find healing, and it doesn't matter whether the trouble is physical, emotional, moral, or financial. What we think of as a physical condition is, in the most fundamental sense, the objectification of our thinking. And so as we purify--or spiritualize--our thoughts, it naturally follows that our life becomes more harmonious, more in line with God's law of good.
Because your daily experience, like mine, is an expression of thought, the great need is for a change of mental standpoint. Through prayer we need to gain a correct, spiritual view of man as the image of God. In other words, we need to realize that inharmony of whatever kind is not a part of our real selfhood made in God's likeness.
Accepting the premise that God is perfect Spirit, as the Bible teaches, we realize that the creations of Spirit can only be spiritual, perfect. And this is the reality of our being, despite appearances to the contrary. No matter how real it appears to be, a hopeless condition has no true existence in God's sight, because God never made it.
Regardless of how joyless or desolate life may sometimes seem, there is no need for anyone to lose heart. God's love is in continuous operation, and it is sustaining each one of us. Science and Health states, ``Be firm in your understanding that the divine Mind governs, and that in Science man reflects God's government.''4 It is understanding this spiritual fact that will keep our hope and joy intact and lead the way to healing.
1Luke 21:26, 28. 2Jeremiah 32:17. 3Science and Health, p. 390. 4Ibid., p. 393. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: O god, be not far from me....I will hope continually, and will yet prasie thee more and more. Psalms 71:12,14