Bridge Over Troubled Waters. The closing words of that are "Like a bridge over troubled waters, I will ease your mind." Pop culture often weeds its way into the garden of truth. In my thirty years of pastoral ministry, I've seen more than a few Christians create a Jesus who becomes their "bridge over troubled waters." A typical prayer meeting is proof. Most requests are for Jesus to remove troubles such as illness, poverty, conflict, etc... It's as if Christians believe the world around them is peaceful by nature, and intrusions of trouble and turmoil are unnatural.
That the world evolves peacefully, gradually, and uniformly toward better and better outcomes is a lie of those who whose sole hope is mankind. It is an unscientific belief-- unscientific because it is neither observable, measurable or verifiable -- and it has led people to believe that this world is naturally evolving toward better outcomes. Mankind, it is said, is a microcosm of Mother Universe and her progression toward stability and peace.
Mankind, apart from God, is always devolving -- like the universe -- toward worse and worse outcomes. The brilliant Immanuel Velikovsky, a close friend of Albert Einstein, shook the scientific world with his 1950's book Worlds in Collision, where Velikovsky proved the earth's human population has almost been destroyed three times throughout history by natural, cosmic disasters. Velikovsky, a Jew, was deemed a heretic for his postulations that the sun used to rise in the west and set in the east, that the ancients wrote in great detail how destructive forces from the skies totally destroyed the world as it was then known, and that the Old Testament accounts of "the sun standing still" and "great stones from heaven" crushing the earth are nothing more than the destructive gravity forces of near collisions with stellar objects, including the newest planet Venus. The world, wrote Velikovsky, is a world in chaos.
Jesus told us that we will "always have the poor among us" (Matt. 26:11).The Apostle Paul, assuming everyone knew the world is in chaos, wrote "the whole creation is groaning, waiting the day of redemption" (Romans 8:22). He further wrote, "Don't be shaken by the troubles you are going through. You know that we are destined for such troubles" (I Thess. 3:3). The writer of Hebrews commends those with faith in God who were "tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Others faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground" (Hebrews 11:35-38). Jesus wasn't a bridge over troubled waters for these people. He brought them peace in the midst of their troubles.
There is a growing sense among scientists that great natural disasters are coming. The evil of ISIS is spreading. The world economies - built on the lies of human governments and fiat currencies - is ready to collapse in an inescapable downward spiral.
But here's the thing worth remembering. Throughout the history of the world, these events have always come. The world is in chaos. This isn't nothing new, nor does it necessarily indicate the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus Christ. Nobody knows if God's plans for this earth are coming to a close or will continue indefinitely.
What we do know is Jesus promised His followers a "peace that passes all understanding." Unless your theology of Jesus and His Kingdom transcends your temporal desire for life, health and happiness, you will always be shaken by chaos in this life. But if you know the God whose "Kingdom never ends" and believe that this life is only a step into the next, then you will not clutch to the absence of chaos as evidence of Christ's love for you.
Jesus is not our bridge over troubled waters; He's the stability of our souls and the Rock of our hope right smack dab in the middle of the turmoil around us.