Coping With Life in 1997

Editors’ Journal

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come."—2 Timothy 3:1

News magazines, the daily papers, television, and radio all proclaim the truth that perilous times have come. Crime, drugs, internecine warfare—a whole litany of woes could be cited to give further proof. Luke’s version of Jesus’ Olivet sermon described it well, "upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity." Perplexity is well defined in the literal Greek as "no way out."

"Are you better off today than you were four years ago"? This question from the recent presidential campaign in the United States received pro and con answers. Even those who answered in the affirmative were unsure as to how long their good fortunes would last. The rapid pace of new technology has two sides as well: the ease it brings is accompanied by increasing uncertainty in the workplace, fed by the fear that technology will replace the human work force.

Advances in pharmacology and the medical sciences have produced new hopes of cures for dreaded diseases. Yet this is accompanied by new ailments, some of which, such as AIDS, have reached epidemic proportions.

Budgetary problems add further stress. In America, Social Security has become less secure and funding for health programs has been more and more difficult to find. This increases fears of an uncertain old age for an ever-increasing proportion of the population.

As Charles Dickens wrote, "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times." The resultant stress from merely coping with life affects us all. That is the theme of this current issue of THE HERALD.

Coping with Life in 1997

The articles in this issue deal with the various aspects of living in the world of 1997. The stresses which face the general populace face the Christian as well. Fortunately, the Bible gives some solid suggestions about coping with these conditions in our lives.

The opening treatise, The Spiritual Mind and Stress, is a fitting introduction to the balance of the journal, which deals with a few of the component elements of this stress.

In Peace: The Gift of Jesus the author concentrates on the rapid pace of our lives. It seems ironic that the more labor-saving devices we produce, the more we labor and the less time is available for doing those things we feel we really should be doing.

Conditions around us produce a frustration that often leads to fits of temper and anger. A Perfect Hatred examines justifiable and inappropriate anger. Emphasis is given to practical ways of alleviating this often harmful emotion.

A Christian’s walk, often contrary to the world around him, frequently produces opposition. A biblical example of this is found in the life and work of Nehemiah, the Jewish governor appointed by the Persian king, Artaxerxes, to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The story is the verse by verse Bible study for this issue, entitled, Such a Man as I.

Two severe stresses are discouragement and depression. They have become so prevalent that they are now recognized as a specialized field of psychology. The author of Lift Your Drooping Hands looks in depth at available ways to combat this foe of the spiritual man.

Many Christians face physical infirmity or economic hardships. These also must be coped with when walking in the Master’s footsteps. An examination of this theme will be found in the treatise entitled He Addeth No Sorrow.

The experience of losing a loved one in death is universal. One article relates the testimonies of three brethren who have recently felt such losses. Their ways of coping are given in Sorrowing Not as Others.

Peer pressure is yet another force all people feel. This is particularly true of the Christian who seeks to abide by the scriptural counsel to "be not conformed to this world" (Rom. 12:2). The author of Christian Conformity examines this subject.

The normal News & Views feature of this month’s issue has been replaced with a two-page special report on the recent International Convention in Miskolc, Hungary. This section features highlights of some of the brethren who attended this gathering. For those of you who subscribe to The Herald on Tape, you will notice that there are new voices doing the reading. Bro. Herb Snyder, who has faithfully done this reading in the past, has had to decline for future issues. The new voices of The Herald on Tape will be Peter and Charlene Mora