Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Finding Comfort in These Times

     Following the decision by the Supreme Court on Friday, I found myself deeply disappointed and grieved over the direction our nation seems to be taking.  I, along with many others, had prayed for a different resolution that would affirm God's design for marriage, but it was not to be.  Then, today, I ran across an article written by Erik Raymond at "The Gospel Coalition" entitled Dear Christian Friend: You Are Not Home .  I was deeply comforted as I was reminded once again that this world is not my home.  I am just passing through.
     Pastor Raymond reminded Christians that all of us need wake up calls from time to time.  Indeed, for me this definitely was the case.  I remember that our Lord Jesus Christ admonished believers to store up  treasure in heaven where moth and rust do not corrupt rather than here on earth (Matthew
6:19-21).  Investing our time, talents and focus on growing in the faith to which we are called will reap greater benefits for us that will last for eternity.  This life here is brief and we cannot take earthly treasures with us.  Remembering that we are citizens of heaven helps us keep our priorities straight.
After all, we do not fit in with the world system because our very presence here is a reminder of God whom they do not know.
      Unfortunately, I think Western Christians have become complacent because we were once in the majority, but this no longer holds true.  The differences between those who are followers of Christ and those who are not are becoming more and more pronounced.  Jesus told us in John 16:33, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  Just as Jesus was persecuted, rejected by His own people and despised by the rulers in His day. so we also shall know this same treatment.  
     As some celebrated the decision, I found a new resolve growing in my own heart that I believe is true of Christians around our country.  First and foremost, there is a new resolve in the hearts of those who trust in Christ.  This resolve grows out of seeking God in prayer and looking into the Bible for better answers to the questions that people are now asking.  Pressure from the culture always brings out  what is in the heart.  For the church, this is an opportunity to be that light on the hill shining in the darkness that many might be saved.
     Secondly, our current circumstances put new meaning to the term "ambassador" for Christ.  The Apostle Paul referred to believers in this manner in 2 Corinthians 5:20, "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."  As an ambassador, we represent Christ in this world.  The job is not easy nor is it popular.  No wonder we feel like outsiders at times.  We are in a foreign place, but one day God will call us home to Himself.  Therefore, we need to make the most of every opportunity we have to share the "Good News" of salvation in Christ alone.
     Finally, the most important aspect is that our trust and dependence on God grows exponentially.  He is our refuge, our strength and our very present help in trouble.  Difficulties tend to drive believers back into the arms of God more quickly than any other stimulus.  For this, we should all thank our Lord who is, indeed, sovereign over all the affairs of men.   Nothing has taken Him by surprise and He is more than able to help us walk in His peace.  
     I firmly believe that Erik Raymond is correct.  We have to remind ourselves that this is not all there is, but we have a home in heaven with our Lord.  His ways are not our ways nor are His thoughts our thoughts; yet, if we remain faithful to Him,  He will bring us safely home.   Selah!

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