Monday, December 19, 2022
by David Brenneman
"God sent His son
They called Him JesusHe came to loveHeal and forgiveHe bled and diedTo buy my pardonAn empty graveIs there to proveMy savior lives
And because He livesI can face tomorrowBecause He livesAll fear is goneBecause I knowHe holds the futureAnd life is worth the livingJust because He lives
And then one dayI'll cross the riverAnd I'll fight life's final war with painAnd thenAs death gives way to victoryI'll see the lights of gloryAnd I'll know He reigns
Because He livesI can face tomorrowBecause He livesAll fear is goneBecause I knowHe holds the futureAnd life is worth the livingJust because He lives (He lives)
- "Because He Lives" - Gaither
I was wondering what word would be today...and almost immediately this came to mind. Was reading in Jonah. Jonah arguing with God..and essentially the response to Jonah was "Because I said so! Because it was necessary to be this way at this time."
Jonah only thought of the people of Nineveh as a mortal enemy. Only worth wiping from the face of the planet. Wanting nothing more than to see them all wiped out, the slate cleared. His anger concerning them consuming him. A whole book to prove out a passage that would be written hundreds of years later. "The anger of man does not bring about the righteous life that God desires".
Jonah couldn't see past his desire for justice. Look at a great many videos today, or just the news in general, and you will find thousands of people decrying that they want their idea of justice. Not justice, they want their own version of it to play out. They want full on destruction of whomever they perceived was the cause of their pain and suffering. Mercy has no place in their hearts. Much as it was with Jonah.
This doesn't fit with a God who taught "Love God with your everything, and love people". In the days of the early Church it cost people their lives to live this out. Rather than see this lived out, to see the effects of it lived out in the lives of others, Satan killed many a Christian in as horrific a way as he could to try to deter others from doing so themselves.
In our day and age, he uses every form of man made entertainment, even redefining what's called enterntainment to keep people from loving God with your everything and loving people. He uses every visible platform possible to bring 'justified' rage and anger out of people. Not just at Christian's but at anyone and everyone. He keeps an Antichrist ready in every generation and he wants the 'best' person for that job to be ready for it. He knows not when the date set by the Father's own authority actually is. Jesus found out after He returned to Heaven. It's obviously something that would be unspoken even in Heaven. Because Satan still doesn't know and he has to arrive daily to give an account of his activities down here. Read the beginning of Job to catch that part.
Satan's aim is to try to keep people from coming to Christ and to keep those who have from living out their faith. He cares not who goes to Hell, he won't be going there. After the events of the Bible for the final battle between God and him, he spends 1,000 years trapped away from mankind. When he reappears for a final all out battle with Jesus, his judgement against him sends him to the Lake of Fire.
Because He lives...oh how hope is sometimes very thin. We are creatures of sight and sound for understanding. We don't look beyond those things more often than not when we face situations. It takes a leap of faith to pray for God to do something that's out of the ordinary. To believe that indeed He will hear that indeed He will do something.
When our hearts ache we are often wanting someone to take away the pain.
When our hearts are lonely we often want someone or something to fill that void.
We are often the worst ourselves, much as Jonah was attempting to be, concerning the pain and suffering of others.
We have our motives layed out, and justified, in why we will or won't do something for someone. Jonah did too.
Last year on this day I could only do what was put in front of me to do. It was squarely placed on my shoulders whether or not I liked it. Not too dissimilar to Jonah being in a large fish, I sort of was in the same situation in the largest vehicle that I had ever driven. Praying for most of several hours on the trip to our new home. My Wife was in another vehicle following me. I still have visions of that last leg of the trip, of pulling off of I-71 knowing that we're almost beginning a new life soon where we'd wanted for so long. I still have visions of the road right before where our house was. God's plans on my driving still playing out. Manuvering that behemoth most all the way up the street to back it into a side street to come back this way and to use part of my new neighbor's driveway to be able to get the right angle to back it all the way up our soon to be new driveway. When we found this house it was just our realtor and myself. My prayer out in the driveway was "Lord, if this is what you want us to have, you're going to have to make it all happen." Because He did, so here we are.
We had honestly a very stressed time in moving. What to keep, what to leave, what to pitch out, what to donate. What did we need, what would we be no longer needing. When we get there, what was going to go in what room, would there be help on the other end?
God handled everything in ways we couldn't even imagine because we couldn't see until it was time for us to see.
Going back a little bit, there was a lot of high emotions before leaving our old hometown. There's many there that I miss to this day...and wonder why they've been so silent since we moved. There's others that I thought moving closer would have meant a renewed friendship, but that hasn't happened in a year either. If anything we're hours closer yet feel farther away than ever. So in many many respects we're doing what happened 21 years ago...starting all over again even in friendships. That particular because I don't yet understand the why's behind. Maybe I'm not meant to know? I do not know. There's others that all the sudden aren't communicating that we hadn't had living near us down there. As to the why's behind that...still don't know. God does and there's where I leave them.
Because He lives....often comes to mind when hope is needed. While a great many things are oh so much better it doesn't mean that there aren't difficulties in life here in our new hometown. We're still attempting to build friendships. Still working out the bugs in this new house. Still seeking what it is God's got in mind for us to be doing here in the body of Christ.
I find myself praying a lot more in this last year than I think I had in my years before. Praying for those I used to work with. Praying for people whom appear to have cut us off from their lives. Praying for people who are very much blinded by their choices that they've made because they are not closer to God for making them. I pray for those I know now in this new life here. Praying for those who might find and read this blog. I pray because it's part of Spiritually breathing. While I might not yet understand what it is that God's preparing for me to do next...being found by Him to be making His will a priority is essential to getting answers.
While we were on our own in leaving our old hometown a year ago due to various circumstances...God brought people to our aide when we arrived to take possession of the house. As if successfully getting here wasn't enough, He more than proved it was the right thing by bringing some of His body here to help unload and get us settled in. Three days before Christmas of last year.
Rage, anger, the human idea of personal justice...will be swept away. For a thousand years after the 7 year Great Tribulation...it won't have a place in human society.
Jesus is indeed coming soon. While this place in which we now physically live is nice...it's not 'home'. Heaven is our home. We're just passing through.
Because He lives...we do indeed have hope for the day even when it appears hopeless. You cannot know the hope that's possible in Christ without coming to Christ. I know not what today holds nor tomorrow...but I know in who's hands are my today's and tomorrow's. He holds my future. If something's been allowed into my life or taken from my life...He has permitted it. I may not understand why and it might hurt like the dickens.
Many times trusting in Jesus comes with a just because. We're not going to know and if we look at Job's life...it's quite possible he didn't know until after his ordeal or possibly after his death. If he wrote his own book then he learned after the fact of what went on behind the scenes.
We're told in the New Testament that we battle not against flesh and blood. People are manipulated by Satan but the problem isn't them. The battle is Spiritual in nature. Satan doesn't want to see anyone else come to Christ. He wants God's Throne, He wants what's only due to God. Life isn't what it appears to be.
After the Rapture of the Church...life will be very much turned on it's side. If people think what's going on in the world is weird, odd, strange, difficult, complex...nobody's seen anything yet.
I live not for my employer. I live not for myself. I live out my life to the best of my abilities for what it is that God wants of me. When I see people making grave mistakes Spiritually, I will pray for God to do whatever's necessary to bring them back to where they were strongest in Christ. When I see people I don't see enemies persee I see people who either need Christ or have Christ as their Savior.
We may not get an answer to what's going on in our lives...and that's ok. Trusting in Jesus is just that...trusting in Him for what's right, pure and true. That our lives align with His will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven. We took a leap of faith in coming here...and even a year later I know that leap isn't done yet. Something else is coming soon. Pray always, pray often.