The final word, then, may be one of gladness. The old doctrine of Providence means the nations are kept by the hand of God and ordered toward the goodness which will endure. Such nations may rise, and they may fall. But beneath and behind the rising and falling is a kingdom in which justice, peace, and goodness will reign forever and ever. Those for whom the gospel is more than a means of marketing or of political action have been set free to be irrationally cheerful in the face of decay. They have been set free to care about this world, precisely because they have learned the joy of indifference toward it. Their gladness and their hope resound in the prayers and service they offer on behalf of those around them. They know that responsibility for judgment lies not in their hands, which frees them to carry the sorrows and burdens of those they love.