From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

Why can’t a prosperous nation like America resolve the conflict of hate and violence? Is there hope for a nation that is seeing more outrage and more mass killings than ever before?

— D.T.

Dear D.T.: The great flaw in the American economic system has finally been revealed: an unrealistic faith in the power of prosperity rather than in the ultimate power and benevolence of God. The American dream became America’s God; wealth and abundance have become the measure of America’s success. But — as recent events have shown — we have been living an illusion. A journalist wrote:

Our pillars of faith are now crashing about us. We are discovering that we cannot, as we had once supposed, create prosperity at will. Our good society is disfigured by huge blemishes: entrenched poverty, persistent racial tension, and the breakdown of the family. The result is a deep crisis of spirit that fuels Americans’ growing self-doubts, cynicism with politics, and confusion about our global role.

This was written in 1992. We are no longer shocked by the violence and mass shootings in cities across the nation. We have almost grown numb to protests and hostile confrontations over a host of crucial social issues, from environmental concerns to abortion. Moral and ethical standards that were once taken for granted have not only been called into question but are cast overboard by millions. Instead of peace and stability, there is confusion and disillusionment.

Only one answer can deliver certain hope to the downtrodden. The answer is the Lord Jesus Christ. He waits patiently for mankind to turn from the sin that besets us and surrender to Him. “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1-2, KJV).