Do fame and fortune bring happiness? Don’t ask basketball star Lamar Odom. As a teenager, Odom became National High School Basketball Player of the Year, wowed the crowds in college, entered the NBA, and competed in the Olympics. He could have been a legendary superstar. Perhaps he thought marriage would bring him happiness he sought, but instead he ended up the talk of the tabloids. Odom’s story is a microcosm of our society. Unbelievers can’t adjust to the culture shock of our shocking culture. People think they want a permissive culture—anything goes. But there’s a cost, and multitudes struggle to cope with the turbulence caused by their own moral choices.

Where is God in all this? How can we turn the tables and shock people with grace? People need culture shock treatment—an answer to the confusion, chaos, despair, pain, and loss of a society facing septic shock. They need to see Jesus.


Confusion: Meet the God of Truth

            We learn a lot about the Father by noticing the biblical phrase, “The God of….” Moses said, “He is… a God of truth” (Deuteronomy 32:4). We’re in a mess because we’ve rejected truth, leading to confusion. Peter said in John 6:68: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” When confused by culture, turn to the unchanging truth of God’s Word.


Chaos: Meet the God of Peace

            Our culture is chaotic. Paul said, “The God of peace will crush Satan under your feet,” and, “The God of peace will be with you” (Romans 16:20; Philippians 4:9). A report surfaced of a confused, despairing young woman in Ukraine. Walking along a channel, she planned to drown herself. A breeze blew a paper into her face. Looking at it, she saw it was a leaf ripped from the Psalms. Reading of the God of peace, she received Jesus.1 Winds of chaos leave people in shock, but the best shock treatment is a leaf of truth from the God of Peace.


Despair: Meet the God of Hope

            Our world is shocked with despair, but there’s a treatment. Romans 15:13 says, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Our world worships many gods—money, sex, fame, power, pleasure. But only ours is called the “God of hope.” First Peter 3:15 says, “Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.” If we’re hopeful, we’ll be helpful, administering the culture shock treatment of hope in Christ.


Pain: Meet the God of Comfort

            Our Lord is the “God of all comfort.” He “comforts us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). When overwhelmed by the evil around me, I turn my eyes to God, remembering the Cross and the Resurrection, meditating on His reign and sovereignty. That comforts me so I’m able to comfort others. That’s providing culture shock treatment: comforting others with the comfort we receive as we see Jesus.


Loss: Meet the God of Heaven

            We can also help people during loss. Psalm 136:26 says, “Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever.” We’ve lost our moral bearings and our societal roots in biblical truth, making other losses intolerable. When an unbeliever loses a loved one, for example, they’ve lost that loved one forever.

            But that’s why Christ came.

            Jesus inserted Himself into our culture to represent the God of heaven and still does so through you and me. Difficult days provide opportunities to help others see the Savior, the very best culture shock treatment. Focus on Him. Find time daily for Bible study, prayer, and quiet reflection. Seek those confused, chaotic, hurting, facing despair, mourning loss. Remind them God is with us amid chaotic culture. Show them the Savior. Be proactive. Share your faith. Distribute Scriptures. Invite others to church. Ask how you can pray for them. Tell people, “God loves you and so do I.” It may shock them; but that’s the kind of culture shock they need.


David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church and the founder and host of Turning Point for God. For more information about Dr. Jeremiah or Turning Point, visit



[1]“A Torn Page from God’s Word Becomes a Life Preserver,”