Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Encouragement for Troubled Times 9/2/2014

"For son treats father contemptuously,
Daughter rises up against her mother,
Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
A man’s enemies are the men of his own household.

But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation.
My God will hear me."
Micah 7:6-7

There is no one that needs me to tell them that we are enduring tough times. The news is filled the heinous crimes ideological extremists are perpetrating against humanity in general and Christians specifically in the Middle East. Planes full of innocents have been shot down in the Ukraine by one government that wants to overtake another. And in the bread basket of our own country, riots reminiscent of some of America's most turbulent times are playing out right before our eyes.

Times like these can seem so hopeless. One wonders what is the source of all of this conflict and more to the point, what is the solution? Why does it seem that war is so easily engaged while attaining peace is among the most difficult endeavors known to man.

Conflict is older than humanity itself. Though it may seem simplistic to the non-believer, Satan rebelled against God before we were created. Soon after we were created, humanity was influenced by Satan to also rebel against God. Not long after this, a man took the life of his brother and we have been warring against one another ever since.

Though we must deal with the conflict that exist between us, starting with that between ourselves and members of our own households, it is important to know that the struggle is larger than any of us. It is written that, "...our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places," Ephesians 6:12. The age old battle between good and evil continues and we have become part of it. We are not, however, without recourse.

Beloved, though there are many things from the word of God that can be offered for our instruction and consolation, think on these three things:

"Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:13-17

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-7

"‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’" Matthew 22:37-39



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