Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Even when life doesn't go your way

“But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” Mark 14:28 

God never sends you into a situation alone. He always goes before His children, as He did with the children of Israel when He led them with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. You do not serve as His advance troops in a foreign and hostile situation. He always precedes you in any situation you encounter. God is never caught by surprise by your experience; He has already been there. He is prepared to meet every need because He has gone before you and knows exactly what you will need for your pilgrimage (Deut. 31:8). Not only does God go before you, but He also stands beside you and behind you, to provide protection and comfort (Ps. 139:7–12). Jesus knew His disciples would be totally bewildered by His crucifixion, so He assured them in advance that no matter what happened, no matter where they went, they could go in confidence that He had already gone before them. Paul, too, experienced this assurance (Acts 18:9; 23:11). In the most bewildering circumstances, his Lord was there! If you are going through a difficult or confusing time, know that your Lord has gone before you and He is present with you. He is fully aware of what you are facing, and He is actively responding to your need. There is nowhere you can go that you will not find Christ waiting for you to join Him. Even when you face death, you can be assured that He has gone before you in triumph. As a child of God, rest in the knowledge that your Savior preceded you, and He will walk with you through each experience of your life. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Oh my friend how quickly life makes its turns and twists before you and I. 

No doubt by now you know of people affected by what's going on in the world with the Covid-19 virus.  Even before that became a new reality, life already could be difficult to navigate. 

How about living as you thought you should, according to what you believed God wanted of you, then you find that reality took a turn at the last minute. 

That's partly my life right now.  We, in our own understanding, sometimes do live the way we think God wants of us and yet still we encounter perplexing things that make no sense. 

Prayer indeed has been and as long as I live will be a part of my life.   As you have been reading in recent days at least, I direct people to pray. Not to anyone but the one true God and Jesus Christ His one and only Son.  There's nobody else in history in whom we must be saved. No name given among men that we must be saved.  Jesus never promised we would always get life.  That we would always understand everything we go through.  He did promise that if the world hated Him, they would hate us too.  That doesn't sound so appealing. Yet Scripture says to count it all joy when we do suffer for the sake of the Gospel.  

Yes my life and yours probably are feeling more like the Colorado rapids.  What once was clear sailing now has us holding on for dear life. 

While in my case I confess a sense of distress and disappointment, I still yet will trust in Jesus.  I still have no doubts that this virus or one like it will have something to do with end times events.  Trust the Scriptures, don't trust me. Everything we are now experiencing, in one way, shape or form, has to do with Israel and the return of Christ.  The prophetic clock started ticking when Israel became a nation again.  God, in that moment, put the world on notice, that He has not gone away, is not going to be silent, is going to be returning.  Jesus is going to be coming soon. 

Look beyond what your eyes see. As movie quotes go, don't trust your eyes. They will deceive you.  Look at the Spiritual.  Because that's where God is working.  In the lives of believers everywhere.  Social distancing is nothing to the Holy Spirit.  He can go where we cannot.  Even before the coronavirus I used to speak of that. When dealing with difficult situations and people, the Holy Spirit will do far more than we can possibly imagine to make wrong situations right. In His time, in His way.  

So while I may be confused as to what has happened in my life, Scripture tells me that Jesus was already aware of where things were going to go.  He already knew before I did.  His eyes move to an fro looking at the thoughts and intentions of the hearts of everyone.  

People you encounter and include yourself in this, everyone cannot see the picture as God does.  Where we see pain and sorrow He sees a step towards redemption.  Where we see death He sees a step in a person's life where the step into eternity.  He conquered death. It is powerless before Jesus.  Even in that, open your Spiritual eyes.  Are you among those looking at an eternity in Heaven or Hell?

Those are the only two destinations.  Your family and friends cannot decide for you.  Once you die YOUR choice is made. 

Know today, in these uncertain times, where you will spend eternity.  Yes life is confusing at times.  But death is permanent.  There's no uncertainty in what comes after your last breath. 

Either your next moment is to be dressed in white before Jesus's welcoming smile to Heaven, awaiting your embrace, or the alternative.  That alternative being that you find yourself in painful torment in Hell.  Jesus described it clearly in the Gospels.  There's no party.  No endless celebrations of drinking and other sinful things.  It's torment.  There's plenty of recorded evidence of people in their last moments of life, crying out in rage at God, and screaming in pain as they slipped into Hell.

So while your life isn't going according to plan.  It is going according to God's Plan. 

This whole world has had its brakes put on for but one purpose.  To remove distractions, to give people time to stop and consider their own mortality.  To realize they are not gods of this world or their own lives.  That there IS a God who reigns and He will fulfill all Scripture in the Bible.  His mercy...us not getting what we do deserve...is being poured out in this world.  We all could very easily die from this virus.  But we all are not going to.  The other is the Grace of God.  God's riches at Christ's expense.  The favor granted to believers everywhere not on any merits of our own but on the will of God towards us. 

In Christ God the Father sees only Christ when He looks at a believer. Spotless. Pure. Holy. 
Without Christ the Father sees every sin in all its ugliness. There's no way to remove it on our own. 

Christ does the cleaning of our lives in His finished work on the cross.  Believing in Christ brings eternal life. Repenting and turning from sin. 

So while life may not make sense.  Trust the one who is way ahead of you.  He wasn't surprised.  

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