We are living in desperate times, confusing times, some say the end times. In fact, in case you hadn’t heard, today, September 23, was predicted by a “Christian numerologist,” (whatever that is), to be the day the world ended. The day isn’t over yet, so maybe it is, but I’m not watching the eastern sky. It isn’t that I think this globe is going to spin forever; not at all. However, Scripture is clear that no one will know the day or the hour of Christ’s return, not the angels or Jesus Himself, (Matthew 24:36; 25:13 NIV). So, I’m pretty sure that any calculations a genius on earth can comprise are pretty useless, but kudos for trying…I guess.
The end of the world, as I knew it, has been over for decades; my parents would say the same if they could, and their parents before them. Sin’s destruction marches on, devouring everything it can in its path, (I Peter 5:8 NKJV). What are we to do? Get the Jesus team in a huddle and wait? There are a few who subscribe to that philosophy, i.e. modern-day monks and others who are adopting the Benedict Option, which first appeared during the failing days of the Roman Empire. There are attributes to this model of coping with this present, evil age, but I’m wondering what would have happened if the disciples had remained in hiding, trembling in their sandals after Jesus appeared to them, rather than ‘going into all the world’? Just sayin.
Like my late father, I can be a news junkie, but some days it’s really better for me not to listen to or watch the news; maybe some weeks. Their droning voices bleating bad news story after bad news story can be depressing, weighing heavy in my soul. Sometimes they might cause me to momentarily forget that I serve an almighty God who has got this mess in the palm of His hand. As Ann Lamott said, “Everyone has been having a hard time with life this year; not with all of it, just the waking hours. Being awake is the one real fly in the ointment – but it is also when solutions come to us,” (Plan B Further Thoughts on Faith).
As far as solutions go, God has them…for everything. His directions may not always be cut and dry, in black and white, but when I’m in a position of listening, He is always clear. If there is fuzziness in the transmission, it’s on my end; I probably haven’t surrendered my will to His. But I digress.
I Peter 5:9-10 (NKJV), clearly delineates instructions concerning our adversary, the devil, (not your husband or boss). 🙂
Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t see anything about a huddle. Words like resist, steadfast in the faith, (NIV says, standing firm), are positions of strength. One commentary said the expression in the Greek was more like, “Stand and face him instead of running away from posts of duty or lying still and letting things take their course,” (Elliot’s Commentary for English Readers). Sounds a bit aggressive, huh? Not at all like complacency or looking for a way out.
At times, I wonder if we Christians focus too much on being nice and not enough time focusing on resisting our enemy who is a roaring lion…or pushing people out of our huddle who don’t look like us or act like us or have the same doctrine as us instead of standing firm against the real enemy who is waiting to annihilate us. Resisting and standing firm in the faith require more than niceness, more than church attendance, more than even correct doctrine. They require a deep, abiding trust in and love for the Lord Jesus Christ, who, after we have suffered a while, will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
He never requires more than He has given. He faced the enemy and was steadfast in His faith in the Father.
He will give us the the strength and the peace we need in these troubled times; indeed, He will settle us. I like that word – settle; it reminds me of calming a restless baby. After all, isn’t that what we are? His restless children?
I like to pull Ann Lamott off the shelf now and then. She is so raw and honest; I’ve learned a lot from her over the years. Although we wouldn’t agree theologically on many things, we would certainly have fun sharing a meal together and talking about the mercy of God.
She wrote, “I know that with writing, you start where you are, and flail around for a while, and if you keep doing it, every day you get closer to something good,” (Plan B Further Thoughts on Faith).
Well, something good is going on for my writing. I have been invited to write on the blog, OhLordHelp.us with some other women who are walking this journey with Jesus. I’m excited to see how God is going to use each of us with our different ages and gifting to grow and bless women for His kingdom. I pray that you will join me (beginning tomorrow, 9/24, if the world doesn’t end!) and join us twice a week at OhLordHelp.us.
As a little encouragement, here is a link to a short Bible study Rachael wrote about becoming more confident women.