Some tend to focus on negative things going on the world. Our media industry thrives on reporting the negative things going on in the world –and we get sucked in by the latest, juicy piece of news. We talk about it over coffee, express our opinions with one another -not realizing that we’re often being coerced to accept someone’s pre-packaged viewpoint –which usually doesn’t agree with God’s viewpoint. And we wonder why so many suffer from depression, disillusionment and despair. Jesus warns us that the future could be perceived as very bleak. He reminds us that the earth will be shaken in unprecedented ways as we approach the end when the Son of Man will return in glory. But I really like what Jesus says in Luke 21. He first says, “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near.” Even in the darkest of dark hours, Jesus tells us to remember that God is in control; things may look really bad, but only before they’re about to get really good! The world may fly to pieces, but Jesus says, “Even so, when you see things happening, you know that the Kingdom of God is near”! But what He says next I find extremely interesting…
The Lord says, “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap… Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Don’t let the troubles in this life rob you of the hope of glory. When things look dark, SHINE BRIGHTER.
In recent days, the leadership at Kouts Christian has been overwhelmed and amazed by the work of God among us. God is moving. He is moving things into place that testify to the awesome work of a loving God. It would be easy for us all to ignore the positive things happening among us by looking in another direction and focusing on negative things, but if we did that, we would miss out on some tremendous blessings! Our God is greater than any challenge we face –how much greater He is than any evil we may encounter! Are the troubles of life overwhelming? Jesus tells us to pray so that we might escape them. Now Jesus was talking about the darkest hour of all human history when Satan will appear to gain the upper hand. But I also think His advice is good for everyday life. If evil looks insurmountable, then stand up and look up. If someone threatens you, show that person the glory of God’s grace; return evil with good. Overcome vicious evil through sweet surrender to Jesus. Chose to see the positive instead of the negative. Instead of being a spectator of the evils in this life, become an active participant for the Kingdom of God and encourage the downtrodden. Don’t allow your own heart to be weighed down, use the opportunity to lift other hearts up. David put it well when he said, “Why are you so downcast, my soul? Put your hope in God!” Decide that grace is greater. Turn despair into hope, hopelessness into triumph and negativity into glory for God –all through the One who overcame all darkness and despair –and even the grave itself!
God is too good for us, His children, to be giving too much credibility to Satan’s “victories.” Instead of focusing on all that is negative, I can pray, “Lord, lead me to someone who needs encouragement… who needs generosity… who needs salvation today.” The Lord guarantees that His children can turn the world upside down if we reflect His Glory –His Nature. Children are a glorious reflection of their fathers -and we much more so! We belong to the Father of all fathers… so His glory must be evident in the image that we reflect.
The whole world seems to have succumbed to the idea that we are all doomed: Global warming… overpopulation… radical fundamentalism and terrorism… immanent global warfare… global economic collapse… super weapons of mass destruction… genetic manipulation… fraud… corruption… immorality… abuse… pandemics… and the list goes on and on and on. These are the things that we might expect from a broken, fallen world. But what can we expect from the Lord and from one another? Jesus also said that heaven and earth may pass away, but HIS WORD WILL NEVER PASS AWAY!!! He is faithful to the very end. He said He is with us to the very end –and if God is for us…
Don’t let the enemy steal our thunder. God deserves better than that from us. He is able. He is present. He is here. Our Redemption is here among us, the Body of Christ. Even when Satan threatens his worst, let’s show the world our best. Let’s be positive. Let’s celebrate our King of all kings. Let’s LOVE GOD, LOVE ONE ANOTHER and SERVE THE WORLD! All for Jesus, we surrender; all for Him we freely give. Instead of focusing on all that goes wrong –let’s imagine our potential by seeing all that God is doing RIGHT among us. And let’s thank Him for His faithfulness. Let’s give Him the honor that He is due. Our God is worthy of all glory, honor and praise. Stand up, look around and look up; our redemption is near (He will physically come back to get us soon –are you praying that He catches you up out of here before the REAL fireworks begin?), and He is here (He is here already in Spirit and in power, working among us, changing lives, preparing a people for His Father, transforming us into His glorious image!). Stand up and look up! Don’t be overcome by evil –OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD. Beware of the enemy’s counter-Christian, poisonous messages. Notice a world bereft of hope. Bring the hope of the resurrected Christ and the New World to come to a hollow heart –and pray that God leads you to that person today. The sacrifice that God loves the most is a heart broken for Him. May our hearts be broken for the lost. May our hearts be broken for the King. And the devil at his worst can only mean a golden opportunity for us to shine our best. All for Jesus we surrender.
Anticipating His soon Return,