Saturday, April 27, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings, April 27, 2024

Hallelujah Anyhow!


Today could be a day to look on the dark side of life and see all the challenges that life is bringing us.  Or we can say what the Bible says, which is, “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).  Since we are what we focus on, talk about, and think about, it behooves us to think the thoughts that God wants for us (Philippians 4:8).  We should focus on letting His mind be in us (Philippians 2:5) and we should speak those things that are not as though they were (Romans 4:17). 


In the book of Genesis, when the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the deep, He noticed that the earth was “formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep  (Genesis 1:1, 2).  He could have looked at it and decided that there was no hope.  He could have decided that it all was a waste of time, the devil was running around wreaking havoc, and people were going to do terrible things anyway. 


But the first thing that He did was to say, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3).  As He is so, we in this world (1 John 4:17).  When we see that our challenges are great, there seems to be no way out and problems seem insurmountable, we can shine the light of God on every situation.  We can declare that this is God’s Day and despite what comes or goes, who comes or goes, we are going to rejoice.  There is a classic song, “Hallelujah Anyhow” which has the lyrics, “Hallelujah anyhow, never let your troubles get you down. When trials come your way, hold your head high and say, Hallelujah anyhow.”


We will not let the evil one get the victory by trying to get us to focus on that which is, but we will look to God to tell us what can be.  If we are not going to praise God during trials and tribulations, those watching us will not either.  Today, let us think, declare, and say, “Hallelujah anyhow!”


Psalm 118:24

New King James Version

24 This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.


Philippians 4:8

New International Version

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things


Philippians 2:5

New King James Version

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,


Romans 4:17

New International Version

17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.


Genesis 1:1, 2

New International Version
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.


Genesis 1:3

New International Version 
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light


1 John 4:17

New King James Version

17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.


Friday, April 19, 2024

Pastor's Ponderings, April 19, 2024

Our Times Are In His Hands


On December 23, 1776, Thomas Paine wrote The Crises.  The first few lines were, “These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”  Perhaps in 1776, it was clear who the enemy was and who were the good patriots.  Unlike in 2024, some seem to yearn for the 1800s, and others long for Gilead, the Handmaid’s Tale,  while others look at how the country can be greatly blessed in the future.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Facts, science, rational thinking seem to be a matter of choice and one’s political opponents are not simply wrong or the loyal opposition, but they are considered evil and unworthy for compromise.  What should those who love the Lord do in such a charged environment?  First, we must seek the face of God by reading His word and praying for Him to be in our situation (Psalm 27:7-9).  Second, we must seek His wisdom (James 1:5).  Last, we must be willing to obey Him (Deuteronomy 30:16) even if He is not voting for our political party or expressing His support for our wars at home or abroad.


While we are to pray for leadership, we must not only be willing to obey, but we must also actually be obedient to His will. Evil does not care who is in charge if chaos reigns, passions are ignited, and continuing conflicts are the coin of the realm.


Let’s decide today that, while political and legal challenges are occurring that have never occurred before, we will seek God’s face. We will strive to receive His wisdom and will obey His commands despite pressure from friends, foes, relatives, and neighbors to follow their commands. 


Psalm 27:7-9

New International Version

7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me.

8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”Your face, Lord, I will seek.

Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior.


James 1:5

New International Version

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.


Deuteronomy 30:16

New International Version

16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.