“God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; The LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies; The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, And will not at all acquit the wicked. The LORD has His way In the whirlwind and in the storm, And the clouds are the dust of His feet.
The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.”
Nahum 1:2-3, 7 NKJV
I remember sitting in this chair last summer when the great inland hurricane called a derecho blew through my state. The light of the day had fled away, and it was replaced by a dark, hard blowing, straight line wind with hard rain. In the midst of that situation, I sat and watched. I sat and marveled at the power of this great creation of God. Even though I heard the roar, I felt a strange kind of peace.
Each morning this past week I awoke to my phone screen lighting up as alert after alert, warning of inbound rockets, notified me of difficult times in Israel. In those many virtual moments detailed on my phone, there were actual rockets filling the skies. I thought of those I pray for who are in the midst of that situation, people going forth to share the Gospel, even as the rockets fall.
As I created the church meme for the day, I was reminded of the stronghold that God provides. He can be counted on in times of trouble. His shelter goes far beyond the mere sheltering of the body, but is an eternal shelter. I know that God is able to keep me in this place and into the next.
Regardless of what comes, I know that He has me. If the winds of last summer had blown me into eternity, it would have been with joy, as the Lord is faithful in the good times and the storms. Because of his faithfulness I am willing to suffer all things, as there is no downside.
“For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”
II Timothy 1:12 NKJV
Given the tenor of the times in which we are living, I have the sense that the Day is soon approaching.
We are seeing the clouds forming off in the distance, as we hear the first peals of thunder afar off. We see the encroaching darkness, and the sense of stillness, as if the entire earth is holding its breath, waiting for that first gust of wind or drop of rain that signals that the storm is here.
“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah”
Psalms 46:1-3 NKJV
The Lord God is our refuge.
I am daily buffeted between feelings of dread and feelings of exhilaration, as I ponder all that is coming.
Living alone and having no one, places me in an almost joyful anticipation as I consider an early exit due to persecution. My heart aches for those I love who have family. If ever there was a time to trust in the Lord it is now.
Brothers and sisters, remember that we have a shelter in Jesus, an eternal shelter from the wrath of God. We must be light bearers, pointing those who are running from the oncoming storm, in the pitch black of night, toward a place where they find salvation.
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.””
Psalms 91:1-2 NKJV
Through salvation in Jesus Christ, we have access to the secret place of the Most High. Let us tell others of the Good News, that they be saved from the storm to come.
I keep finding myself thinking of those lepers in II Kings. They were maligned, and rejected, feared and cast out, but when they had been blessed by God, they felt compelled to go and tell. May we be consumed with that same spirit.
“And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it. Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household.””
II Kings 7:8-9 NKJV
We who are true believers are modern day lepers, who have happened on the vast treasures of Jesus. After we have filled ourselves with His goodness, let us go and share the news, that others come and eat and drink.
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