Yes, it's easy to get discouraged today and with good reason, because almost everywhere you look our world seems filled with conflicts and problems. Jesus warned that as the time approaches for His return, "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars" (Matthew 24:6). Perhaps we are already living in those days.
At the same time, God is at work in many parts of the world, and we should be encouraged by this. Recently, our own organization sponsored a series of telecasts across parts of south-central Asia, and several million people registered their commitment to follow Christ. In some parts of Africa, thousands are coming to Christ every week. Even in our own country we see countless young people turning to Christ, in spite of our secularism and materialism.
Do you remember Jesus' parable of the wheat and the weeds (or tares)? (You can read it in Matthew 13.) In it, Jesus told about a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But one night, an enemy sneaked into the field and planted weeds. In time, both the wheat and the weeds grew up together, and they could only be separated at harvest.
This is a picture of our world. Like the weeds, evil is growing stronger. But so is God's work! Don't despair, because God is still at work, and someday His victory will be complete.