Thursday, January 17, 2013

An Encouraging Word in Evil Times

An Encouraging Word in Evil Times
by Barbara Henderson
Like many of you, I am mightily distressed at the shenanigans going on in the halls of congress now.  I fear that the foundations of our freedoms are being destroyed by those who love neither freedom nor my country.  Thinking people understand that more government control means less freedom.  America is in a downward spiral. I could go on for hours about what is happening, and why it is happening, and who is to blame, and just how awful it is.  However, I know that you already know that.  Instead, I wanted to write something to encourage each of you, but I realized that before I could encourage you, I must first encourage myself.  So, here is what I did.
I realized even more than ever that this world is not my home.  I played Jim Reeves on youtube singing a song with those very words as the title.  I played it about 45 times.  (This World is Not My Home)
It finally changed my thoughts from the things of this world, and I began to ‘encourage myself’.

Then I thought, when we go camping, we spend a short amount of time setting up camp, and the rest of the time just goofing off.  When we are camping, even cooking is sort of goofing off.  We want safety, and comfort. We do as little as possible to set up everything to ensure those things.  We are just passing through the camp area.  It isn’t our home.  When the weekend is over, we will leave it behind and get back to the daily grind.  ( )  (I’ll Fly Away)  
But, there is a day coming when we will leave the daily grind behind and get on to eternity.  We are supposed to do the best we can in accordance with God’s Word while we are in this world, but our earthly home is really no more permanent than a weekend camp site. 

The daily grind is this world.  It is a land where we work hard, grow weary, old, and die.  But, there is a land where we will never grow old.  In that land, there will be a righteous government, with a Righteous King. 
(Never Grow Old)
And, thankfully, Christians have the Lord to carry burdens for us.  Remember, ‘Burdens are Lifted at Calvary’.

And, ‘I’ve Got a Mansion Just Over the Hilltop’.

So, seeing that:
This world is not my home
I will eventually move on from earth to a city not built by hands
I will live in that land no one will ever grow old
The Righteous King will rule there
My burdens can be dumped on Jesus
I’ve Got a better home waiting for me in heaven
….  It is better to not entangle myself with the affairs of this world other than to do what is required of me according to God. 

Music that reminds me of God’s goodness is often my first line of defense when troubles come.  My heart is so heavy when I consider the directions my beloved country is taking, and that our leaders have no love for the God of the Bible.  Music, wonderful gift from God though it is, is  not enough to give me strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.  (Great is thy Faithfulness )   Music is not a substitute for God’s Word, but it can calm the heart and mind.  Music seems to be able to sweep away all the anger, bitterness, fear, and doubts that an event like Congress ramming health care down the throats of the American people brings with it.  Music can prepare our hearts to encourage ourselves in the Lord through reading and studying His word.  Let’s see what the Bible has to say about encouragement.  In just a very quick study this morning, I find four important things mentioned.

1.  David encouraged himself in the lord.  Everyone was against him; there was no friend to encourage him. He went straight to the Lord for encouragement.  That is an example well worth following!  (1 Samuel 30:6  And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.)

2.  This next verse looks like sort of a good circle to me.  The people support the teachers of God’s law.  Then the preachers are free to learn more of God’s teachings, which they pass on to the people.  We are definitely supposed to study and learn on our own, but it is very encouraging to have a preacher who preaches the Gospel truth.  Also, to give to the priests a certain part showed obedience on the part of the giver.  So personal obedience to God is a way of encouraging others.  (The priests in the Bible are not like Catholic priests today.  They were family men.  It refers to the preachers and teachers.  Baptists and other Christians today call them pastors and preachers and evangelists.  Churches support them as they are able, and send out missionary support as well.)
 2 Chronicles 31:4  Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD.

3.  In this next verse we are encouraged to serve the Lord.  This verse encourages preachers and teachers to continue in serving the Lord.  When there are preachers and teachers of righteousness, then more people have the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.
2 Chronicles 35:2
And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the LORD,

4. According to this next verse we are supposed to encourage each other.  Tell our brethren, our fellow laborers, to be encouraged. How often would an encouraging word from a fellow believer been helpful to you?  You can't make others pass out encouragement, but you can make yourself encourage others.
Isaiah 41:7 So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.

Christians need to remember that we are not humanists, and our God is greater than any social gospel preached in some liberal churches or the halls of government.  What America has been, and what I hope to see it become again, is a country where the spirit of the Lord is at home and is welcome.  God obviously knows where He is and is not welcome. A congress who is trying to save the world using bribes and lies obviously does not welcome the Spirit of Truth.  We cannot change the hearts of the elitist/swindlers in congress, and even in the dreadful apostate preachers spewing evil lies throughout the world.  We really only have a choice about what is in our own hearts.  What is in the heart of the individual does make a difference.  If you want to be someone who makes a difference for good, then put the good things of God into your heart. Truth matters.  Never forget that.
By the way, this is not a ‘stick your head in the sand’ and ignore what is going on politically article.  This is an article that hopefully will help us to not be distracted by current events, but will rather help us to focus on the things of eternity.  I suppose there is nothing like having the rug pulled out from under you to make you look for a more stable place to put your rug!  In America, have we Christians placed too much emphasis on the freedoms we enjoy, and not enough emphasis on the things of God?  I do know this much for certain. It is our duty to vote and voice our opinions regarding government; but, these are not the things that will bring about restoring our Godly heritage.  The foundations on which this nation was built can only be repaired by people returning to a Biblical standard of morality and righteousness.  This cannot be legislated or forbidden in government.  That must be done in the heart of the individual.  The way to combat the evil leaders in Washington is to get our own hearts right with God and preach the gospel.  And, that has been our commission all along.  The burden of nationalized health care and additional greedy taxes do not change anything regarding our earthly job or our heavenly eternity.

Standing on the Promises of God   -

I Love to Tell the Story -

Barbara Henderson

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