Monthly Archives: September 2015

HOPE in Dark Times

As we remember the shock and terror of 9/11 – and consider the state of the world and of America today – let us not lose hope.

HopeInDarkTimes

As we look upon the world scene, chaos reigns in much of the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Central and South America. Tyrannical regimes and terrorist states around the world are expanding their spheres of influence and employing their power for evil purposes.

In America, we are experiencing perils considered unthinkable just a decade ago, from unbridled immigration and race riots to Islamic jihad and domestic terrorism. The White House has become tyrannical and the judiciary is making laws. People who regard America as fundamentally flawed are in power and those who deny American exceptionalism have the loudest (and most heard) voices. The Church writ large is yielding to the world, endorsing homosexuality and promoting narcissism. Identity politics and political correctness have seized our political and cultural institutions.

Nevertheless, God is still on His throne. The supreme ruler of the universe – by whose providence America was founded and to whom America owes credit for her greatness – remains sovereign in the affairs of men. Our Father is faithful to His people and He hears their cries. His promises are sure.

Scripture is replete with assurances from our Creator and Redeemer. Psalm 147:11 declares, “the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”

In Romans 15:13, the apostle Paul offers a succinct prayer for God’s people: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Let us abound in hope.

You Were There

Let me share two songs with you (YouTube videos hyperlinked).

Avalon’s You Were There reminds us of God’s omnipresence. God is everywhere and has always been there in key moments in history. He was there, giving David the courage to slay Goliath “when the hardest fight seemed so out of reach.” He was there, showing Abraham that He “had bigger plans” and provided a sacrifice to substitute for Abraham’s son, Isaac.

And God was there, “during history’s darkest hour,” when He gave His only begotten Son, that we might have eternal life with Him (John 3:16).

God “alone [can] keep the universe from crumbling into dust.” And He can keep our lives from falling apart.

You Raise Me Up

Selah’s You Raise Me Up points to the One who lifts us up when we are weary and overwhelmed. God lifts us up to the mountaintops and empowers us to “walk on stormy seas.” Indeed, our strength derives from the One who rules in majesty: “I am strong, when I am on your shoulders. You raise me up to more than I can be.”

Perhaps not so surprisingly, it is in those moments that our hearts are “filled with wonder” and we get glimpses of eternity.

We now face challenges which can appear insurmountable. We know our own frailty and our own powerlessness in certain circumstances. It is in times like these that despair can fall upon us. But it is at those very times when we must most remember to whom we should turn.

We live in dark times, times where it seems that evil has been unleashed from hell, yet our hope resides in one person – Jesus Christ. Jesus, the Light of the World, entered our world to pierce the darkness, to conquer death, and to redeem humanity. Jesus conquered Satan and death. Nothing is impossible for Him.

Let us keep our eyes on Him as we struggle for what is right and true in this life.

Ask God! (He just might surprise you.)

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8

LifeLifter08

Some regard Jesus’ words as Pollyannaish or simply too good to be true. But what if they’re not?

Those with faith in Jesus’ promise have already experienced his bountiful goodness. We can, too. The promise Jesus gave is to “everyone” – without qualification or limit. All we have to do is ask in faith.

As the apostle James said, often we do not have because we do not ask. Rest assured that when we go to God in prayer, he hears – and he answers! The whole of heaven is open to everyone who prays.

Prayer is a passionate, personal conversation with God. When we speak from our heart, when we openly share our inner being with the One who created us, God is pleased.

When we share our hearts with our Father in prayer, he gives us more of himself. He changes our hearts and transforms our lives beyond our imaginations.

Surrounded by the here and now, distracted by the world around us, it is all too easy to miss the spiritual reality that prayer is an invitation to connect with eternity.

Jesus called every broken believer into a life of continual prayer that eternally changes life. In Jesus, we can be healed and become whole.

Jesus instructed us to “Ask … Seek … Knock …” and he assured us that our Father would respond generously, lovingly (verses 9-11).

Let us trust him.

Father, let Your will be done in our lives.