Wednesday, November 07, 2012

A Final Word of Encouragement

There have been many posts that deal with the outcome of Tuesday's election. Some have been thoughtful and encouraging. Many have been negative, angry and hurtful. There have been posts from sore losers and poor winners.

The most troubling ones have been the posts from Christians that seem to face the future with a sense of fear and doubt. How can children of the King be hopeless?

The letter that follows was written to encourage a small group of friends and is posted here with permission. I hope that it also encourages you.

John <><

... just wanted to send along some encouragement for you today and this week.  Last night, I was keeping track of folks' comments on Facebook as I watched the election results unfold.  Like you, my heart was filled with swells of both expectation and sadness throughout the evening.  

     I don't know how you voted yesterday, nor do I really care.  What I do know is that I saw several of you voiced your displeasure at the results of the election.  I saw frustration bubble over into rage at what was taking place.  And, quite frankly, I saw some hopelessness in your posts.

     Personally, I share many of your concerns and fears about the direction that our country is heading.  Right now, my head is spinning over the idea that recreational marijuana and gay marriage has been legalized in a popular vote of the people in certain states.  I'm reading the writing on the wall, and when I hear the media state that the way that I believe is no longer mainstream and that issues like these have become "civil rights issues," I get worried.  I don't completely understand how some people feel the way that they do racially, and I wonder if my own kids and grandkids will feel the same way about me and my beliefs about homosexuality someday.  I fear that they will one day have to deal with people calling them bigoted because of their Bible-based beliefs.

      Let's be clear:  President Obama is not the problem.  Democrats are not the problem.  As Christians, we know that we are in a constant battle with the principalities and powers of darkness.  Our concern should not be directed towards men... they are fallible, weak, and many times self-serving.  This is true not only of politicians, but ourselves as well.  If we look really deeply into our own hearts, we'll see the struggle between the "old man" and the "new man"... between the flesh and the Spirit.

     But, I promised encouragement, didn't I?   Like I asked Sunday night:  do we believe that the Bible is true?   Completely true?   That God's promises apply to us just as much as they did to those that we read about?   If so, here's the encouragement:

"The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate." (Psalm 34:22)

"Behold, He that keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps." (Psalm 121:4)

"I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust ate..." (Joel 2:25)

"The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next.  Everything in creation is being more or less held back.  God reigns it in, until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead.  Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens."  (Romans 8:19-21, MSG)

"Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of Hosts is His name.  He will fervently plead their case so that He might bring rest to the earth."  (Jeremiah 50:34)

"No, in all things we have been made more than conquerors through Him that loved us.  And I am convinced that nothing can separate us from God's love.  Neither death nor life, angels nor demons, or fears for today nor our worries for tomorrow... not even the powers of Hell can separate us from God's love."  (Romans 8:37-38)

These verses represent literally just a fraction of the words that God speaks to us in times of concern and worry... He promises that He will be our strength for a new day.   He says that we will mount up with wings like eagles.  If we truly believe that His Word is true, verses like these should fill us with hope.   Hope not held in a man, or a country, or a government... but hope held in the One Who holds the world in His hands.  Last night didn't take God by surprise and, make no mistake, things will get worse before they get better.  There is an endgame to all of this, after all.  But the One Who spoke this world into existence also dwells within us, granting us peace and hope to face what is thrown at us.  We talked Sunday night about the fact that God WILL give us more than we can handle in order to draw us back to Him.  It is my prayer that we as Christians will begin to truly seek God's face and turn from our unrighteousness, that He might be glorified.

     So, truly pray for President Obama... he carries a weight on his shoulders that none of us can fathom.  Truly pray for our leaders, that they would seek Jehovah God in all that they do and dictate.  And pray for yourself, that you will have the strength to strive to walk closer to Him today than you did yesterday.   Know that I love each of you, and because I care about you, I send you these tidings of hope and joy.

     I found this song ( ) on my iPod as I drove into work today... it seemed appropriate.  If you choose to listen to words, let the promise of God being sovereign wash over you.

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