Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dark Days Ahead?



Do return, O LORD; how long will it be? And be sorry for Your servants. O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us, And the years we have seen evil. Let Your work appear to Your servants And Your majesty to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands (Psalm 90:13-17).

This morning, I led the prayer group at my office and shared the above verses from Psalm 90. I found it especially striking as I had been listening to the news both at home and on the way into the office.

There is so much bad news. The economy is in a mess. Our troops are in harm's way. The cost of living -- fuel, food and everything else -- is skyrocketing. The worst prognosticators are expecting a full blown depression by the end of the year. Some see devastating hyperinflation around the corner. Some regions around the country already have a form of food rationing going on in stores.

None of the candidates running for America's highest office are particularly inspiring. We have our government trying to bring down God's wrath on our nation due to our Israel policy, and we have a buffoon of a former president inviting more by kissing up to Israel's mortal enemies. We seem to be losing more of our rights and freedoms by the year, and it seems that the powers that be -- both from the public and private sector -- are bound and determined to end American sovereignty under the guise of free trade.

I could go on with this. It's depressing, isn't it? But I found the words of Psalm 90 comforting, because it reminds us we have a sovereign God who is firmly in control of events, and who has promised to never leave or forsake us. We won't necessarily be spared tough times, but He will see us through it. And the tough times can give us all a chance to bring glory to the Lord through our testimony to the world around us.

I am not, nor have ever been, a datesetter in terms of the return of the Lord or the Rapture of the church. Could it be around the corner? I hope so. But if it's not for some time yet, we still have our marching orders . . . orders that have not been rescinded. We're to preach the Gospel, make disciples, and "occupy until He comes."

I am also increasingly convicted and concerned about our testimony to the world around us in terms of our behavior. So many Christians these days seem indistinguishable from non-believers. I won't give you a litany of the behaviors I have in mind, but it's certainly not holiness as defined by Scripture. I am concerned about myself. I want to live in holiness, and I certainly find it a struggle. But these times ought to encourage us to do so. Remember the words of the Apostle Peter . . .

Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness . . . (2 Peter 3:11).

Whether the Lord's return is around the corner or not, we are in for some very tough days as a country, and in the church. May we all be found faithful.

2 comments:

lee n. field said...

Psalm 46, brother.

Randy said...

Joel,

I remember you enjoying Michael Card's "How Long." It does go right along with your comments today.

You are so right. We are in tough times. Your words are timely. May we all be found "occupying" and being a "testimony."

Blessings,

Randy