Encouraging Words

Heb. 10:25 “... let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Email When Virus Shutdown Occurred

Hi to all,

Trust you are all well and looking to the Lord. It seems we live in "interesting times"! Glad the Lord is in control. In His wisdom and purpose, He is allowing the enemy to bring about the current crisis that is upending what we think of as "normal." The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but the Lord is always about life, true life, that is.

It seems our leaders around the globe are facing quite a dilemma: either they preserve the global economy and sacrifice 10s of millions of lives -- or more -- OR they take drastic measures in an attempt to defeat the rapid spread of this new virus and crash the global economy. Understandably they are trying to find the best middle ground, whatever that is.

It is far too easy for any of us to turn our "normal" into a mere routine. Perhaps one thing the Lord is doing is to shake us up a bit. It certainly is an opportunity for us to truly BE the Church, not merely an outward earthly organization, but a heavenly living organism, alive with His life, the life purchased for us through the amazing sacrifice of the cross. Will we wither on the vine or grow spiritually?

We have brothers and sisters in many parts of the world today in far more dire conditions who have learned that God is faithful! There is nothing to fear. There is nothing the devil can do, however earthly issues play out, to thwart God's plan because the victory was already won long ago! It is finished. We have an opportunity to get to know our God better, not in mere doctrine and theory, but in actual life experience. Remember the word through Daniel about the people who know their God being strong and able to take action.

It's interesting to me that an upcoming couple of TV broadcasts were taken from a message preached last year entitled, "Trouble." We are all familiar with Jesus' words that in the world we would have trouble, but we are to "cheer up" because He has overcome the world. In part of the message I spoke about Joseph. He began life as a privileged favorite son of his father. In addition, he had dreams that seemed to point to a time when he would be lifted up to a place of exaltation over his family. "Normal" for Joseph was great!

Then his jealous brothers sold him into Egyptian slavery, his master's wife lied, and he wound up in prison fetters. What an amazing testimony it is how the Lord enabled him to retain his integrity and confidence in God through it all. And he never allowed bitterness and thoughts of revenge to take root. I doubt any of us is destined for an earthly throne, but God has a purpose for each of us and knows how to bring it about.

As a matter of doctrine, we understand that God will allow Satan to basically establish himself over a global kingdom before the end. Obviously, that would result in some pretty drastic changes to what we think of as "normal." I don't know exactly how he will bring that about nor when, but nothing should surprise or dismay us. The word reminds us that Jesus will be with His own till the end of the age and that He would never leave or forsake us.

May He give us grace in these present circumstances to rest in Him and seek His wisdom as to how to be a source of help and encouragement to one another and perhaps see opportunities to reach out to others the Lord puts in our paths.

Good scriptures for times like these: Psalms 46 & 91.

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