A good man recently said to me, “What an unlucky time to be alive! This world is crazy!” He felt like he was trapped by the troubles of the world and could do nothing to change it. That man represents many people who have the fatalistic attitude that defeat as inevitable, give up the cause, crawl in a hole, the enemy has won.
Fatalism is the belief that all events are predetermined and therefore inevitable. Fatalism can cause people to become unconcerned and indifferent because their theology says there is nothing that can be done to change the course of history.
Many religious groups teach this unfortunate viewpoint. The Hindu and Buddhist believe in karma. The Muslim believes in kismet. Some Christian theologians teach a similar doctrine called Predestination or Divine Determinism. The bottom line of these teachings can only lead to fear and disappointment if you believe that the outcome of life is already settled.
This premise stands against 1 John 4:8, “God is love.” How can a loving God condemn most of the world while saying in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” and in 2 Peter 3:9, “God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
In fact, these fatalistic doctrines even diminish the purpose and power of prayer! Why pray if the “fix” is in? Consider the following story in 1 Samuel 17.
The army of Israel was paralyzed in front of the villainous giant Goliath. All they could do was shake in fear and grumble. No one dared to attack Goliath, so every day ended in frustration.
David the shepherd boy visited his brothers who were fighting the Philistines. When David heard the taunts of Goliath, he started asking questions. His brothers told David to go away, but David responded in Verse 29, “Is there not a cause?”
David knew that their army's inability to defeat Goliath would affect the destiny of their nation. To him, this cause was noble and certainly worth the risk of dying, so he took action. That action changed the destiny of Israel.
Albert Einstein is quoted as having said that if he had one hour to save the world, he would spend “fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution.” But there is a better way!
When Jesus was faced with the opportunity to change the world forever, He fell on His knees in the Garden of Gethsemane and prayed for the whole hour. And what he did after that transformed the course of human history.
Is fatalism Biblical? No!
Will prayer change our world for good? Yes!
Is there not a cause? Yes!
Will you do your part?
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