“The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident. One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.”
Psalms 27:1-4 NKJV
In the conduct of my life, I have endured many trials. One thing that has helped, is the grace of the Lord giving me time to rest, and regroup before the next terrible event comes along. In the year just past, it seemed as if there were few moments for reflection, as one trial ended, and the next seemed to overlap, sending rumblings of constant foreboding.
I woke in the darkness of my melancholia, this morning, full of thoughts on the state of our world, on this first day of the new year. I still remembered the events of the past week, and I wondered if we would ever catch a break.
I for one, wanted to coast into the new year, just mosey on in, settle down and begin the year, with no stragglers from the previous one. The past week changed all that, as our nation witnessed a vast human tragedy in Colorado, as parched dry, land made so by drought, caught fire. Those people will not be able to sing “auld lang syne,” as they will be dealing with that horrible event for years to come.
And more are coming.
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Matthew 24:6-8 NKJV
All these things, and more, are coming, and even present now. Nation is rising against nation, especially here in the US, as people of diverse ethnic backgrounds, bound in common borders, fight for status and supremacy. The very fabric of America is being threatened, as it is being rent in the cultural tug a war. We are seeing earthquakes in places that do not normally have them, the very climate we live in is changing, despite our vain efforts to deny that it is happening.
There are famines, pestilences, and and increased sorrows, as the poor of the world are being pushed into early death at an alarming rate. Those who live in the rich nations have forgotten that the poor are the canaries ion the coal mine, and what happens to them, will eventually, happen to us.
All these things are rumblings of hardship to come.
Reading Psalm 27 brought needed light into my darkness, and reminded me of one simple truth. Regardless of what may come at us in the coming year, those of us who know the Lord have the great help of Jesus to get us through. He has gone before us, and is waiting to walk us through what may come.
“For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.””
Psalms 27:5-8 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, let us seek the face of God early this year, even before anything happens. The beginning of a new year is a wonderful time to begin to cultivator holy habits, that bring sustenance to the follower of Jesus in moments of need.
Make bible reading a daily routine, make prayer as regular as breathing. Make the most of fellowship with the saints. This hard for me, at times, because I have a hard time with people with weak boundaries: I am like a fortress, slight a gator infested moat, and do not like people who seek to get too close. But still I go.
May we be reminded that our God is for us, and hears our cries. He is full of mercy, and delights in His children.
“Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the Lord will take care of me. Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence. I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.”
Psalms 27:9-13 NKJV
As the year progresses, some of us may feel the full sting of those who revile us, as the stances that we hold dear run at odds with those of the world. In that time of testing, remember the Lord, seeking Him, that He teach His ways, that you respond in holiness.
My people, we have great protection in our Lord, who holds not only our bodies, but our very souls in His hand. Because of Jesus, I know I have a place in Heaven.
There are things that I am praying for in the coming year, and while the answer may seem slow in coming, I know that when it does get answered, it will be in the nick of time. Let us be patient, resting with confidence in the Lord, for He is working, even as all seems to be rumbling around us.
It is also a sign that it is time for the harvest. The rumblings of this present world, serve to soften the hard soil in the stoniest of ground, allowing for the sowing of the seeds of the Gospel. Let us be aware of those opportunities, and act on them.
The times are indeed full of rumblings, but we know that we have an unshakable God. Let us wait and lean on Him.
“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!”
Psalms 27:14 NKJV
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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