Monday, February 22, 2021

Even and Especially in Distress

Even and Especially in Distress 

. . . and that Rock was Christ. 1 CORINTHIANS 10:4 

Have you experienced deserts in your life? Ever felt you were wandering in a wilderness, surrounded by problems, hemmed in by distress? Charles Weigle was an itinerant evangelist who enjoyed traveling and preaching, despite the rigors of the road. His wife, however, grew disillusioned with her frequently absent husband. One day Charles returned home to find this note: “Charlie, I’ve been a fool. I’ve done without a lot of things. . . . From here on out, I’m getting all I can of what the world owes me. I know you’ll continue to be a fool for Jesus, but for me it’s good-bye!” Charles was stunned, and depression swept over him like a tidal wave. One day, sitting on the porch of a cottage in Florida, he contemplated suicide. Your work is finished, said an inner voice. No one cares . . . But another voice pierced his gloom: Charlie, I haven’t forgotten you . . . I care for you. Instantly, Charles was on his knees, rededicating himself to Christ. Sometime later, he wrote the words to the well-known gospel song: “No one ever cared for me like Jesus; there’s no other friend so kind as He. No one else could take the sin and darkness from me; O how much He cared for me.” He cares for you too—even in the desert. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

People aren't normally apt to just spill on what's going on in their lives.  Fear of embarrassment, past history of how it was received, other thoughts and feelings often keep these things inside us.

Being prepared for rejection also isn't easy.  It was eluded to in the New Testament when Paul wrote about marriage between a husband or wife who had an unbeliever for a spouse.  The possibility of them leaving due to the believer's life was a daily possibility. 

We face it with family, with friends, neighbors, coworkers too.  We face it with ourselves sometimes. 

Distress is a part of life.  It often is quick to come along.  Things seem all nice and then WHAM here it comes out of nowhere. 

It can be a job, health, things breaking, financial problems.  We do indeed live in a broken world.  We live in a time where nothing is being done by mankind to truly help mankind.  We are in a time where what's going on is the setting of the stage for the rest of the Bible to play out.  There's no utopia on the horizon due to whomever got elected.  There are no Doctors who are there to heal.  There are no businesses who are there to provide in such a way that things last.  The world is full of people who want what is right in their own eyes.  

We look and look for hope.  We look for something to cling to.  We who are in Christ wonder how much longer until Jesus returns.  

It's not going to be an easy life, whether or not you come to Christ. Only in Christ you have a hope that the world cannot find.  Suicides happen because people cannot or refuse to see the hope in Jesus Christ.  Sometimes even Christians are so locked into wrong thinking that they too commit suicide, only to find themselves standing before Jesus and are having Him ask them why? Why are you here?  Why didn't you believe Me? 

This isn't exactly a bright post today but wait, there's more.  Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. Yes that's a line from a hymn.  Jesus said that in this world we would have tribulations. We would have trials.  He didn't say anything about a life of peace and prosperity.  As another devotional I read today pointed out, solitude will not get you away from the troubles of this world. Satan followed Jesus into the wilderness, he will follow you too. As another said, knights used to sleep with their armor on for a reason. We need our Spiritual Armor on all the time for the same exact reason.  

We are, as Pastor Jeff Brown said yesterday, living behind enemy lines.  For the time being Satan is ruling this world.  Once the Tribulation plays out, Jesus will reclaim it. 

Our hope is found in Christ Jesus. Physical problems will get us all, but even death isn't anything more than another cure to disease and illness.  It's not an emotional cure but it is a physical one. Looking at this world, nobody that I know who has died in my life, would I truly want here now.

What I want is to let people know where hope is found.  You're not going to find it in the pages of self help books. You won't find it in Doctors or drugs. You won't find it in alcohol or anything else.  You are only going to find it by faith in THE One who truly loves you. 

You have to decide what is more important to you.  You have to look for what Jesus has left here in the lives of other believers.  You have to decide where you want to spend eternity because your life today depends on it.  Without Christ you have no hope in escaping Hell.  That's the long and the short of it. Without Christ you will not find a peace that passes all understanding.  Without Christ you will not find one who understands you unlike anyone else.  

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness...all other ground is sinking sand...

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