He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. -Psalm 112:7
The news is full of things to fear today that include Ebola, the terrorist group ISIS, and the demands from Houston’s Mayor, Annise Parker. It’s hard to read the paper or get on social media without seeing another article about one of these issues threatening our safety and security. Not to mention the pending doom of our free speech as Houston’s lesbian Mayor demands to have the local pastor’s sermons delivered to her front door.
In fact everyone is talking about Houston’s Mayor decision to subpoena the sermons, including Chuck Norris. We are a country founded on the right to speak freely and our country was also created with the beliefs of Christianity as its backbone. However, right now both of these rights are being infringed upon. And just yesterday there was a news story about a new city ordinance in Idaho. Apparently, if pastors refuse to officiate gay weddings they will undoubtedly face jail time and possibly have to pay a $1,000 fine for each day that they refuse to perform such services.
As reported in multiple news stories, the Knapps are local pastors in Idaho and are facing a 180 day jail term as well as the daily $1,000 fine per day that they refuse to perform same sex weddings.
There seems to be new reports everyday of how Christians are being targeted for their beliefs. Ebola and ISIS seem to be knocking at our back door but with these issues jail time and fines would be the least of our worries. Death is the primary concern with them and it’s not surprising many of us are scared. We are no longer protected as living in the freest country in the world. In the past living in the United States seemed to have kept these things at bay because we offered opportunities for everyone. But now we are having to face these threats whether we like it or not.
The other day a lady I don’t know and have never seen before walked up to me and asked, “How is the battle going”? I was rather surprised and was wondering exactly what she was referring to. She responds, “You know the battle of life”. She continued to talk about everything that is in the news and how scary life is. I told her it can be but it also helps us to see where we really put our hope in. And that’s the truth for us all. What are we putting our hope in as we see how broken our world really is?
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. -Jeremiah 17:7
The Lord tells us to trust in him. Can you imagine what it was like to live in a time where Sodom and Gomorrah reigned? Or when Hebrew baby boys were being tossed into the Nile river? There were many times in the bible that we can draw examples from in which life seemed as if God wasn’t paying attention. The truth is that God is always in control but he will allow certain things to happen in order to restore the broken bond between us and the Lord.
A man that is not normally referenced from the bible is Habakkuk. He is a man from the old testament that loved the Lord and saw how broken the world was. He asked God some difficult questions and God answered. Go read his questions and God’s answers. Can you imagine what Habbukuk felt in light of what our world looks like today?
Here was a man crying out to the Lord to save these people that have drifted far from God. Habakkuk had seen so much evil that he wasn’t sure if God was really listening to him. He says, “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?” (Habakkuk 1:2). Then the Lord responds with “Look at the nations and watch–and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told” (Habakkuk 1:5).
Can you imagine what it was like for Habakkuk to hear God’s answer that he was sending the babylonians (one of the most wicked people) to restore people back to him. It makes me wonder how God is working in our world today. The Lord has allowed for such chaos to happen but he has a plan that we cannot always see. So instead of throwing our arms up in disbelief lets pray for the people that are persecuting our fellow Christians, let’s pray for the sick, and most of all let’s pray for God to restore his people back to him.
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. -John 14:1