Monday, November 16, 2015

Pastor's Ponderings, November 16, 2015

God Has Never Left His Throne

On Friday, November 13, 2015, coordinated terrorist attacks killed over 120 people, including trapped hostages, in the deadliest violence to hit Paris France since World War II.  Whenever we hear of the deadly drumbeat of war and the horrible atrocities that accompany them, we may feel a sinking feeling that all hell is about to break loose.  We may feel that it is time to run for the hills for fear that we might be the next target of maniacs with personal visions of the apocalypse.

Jesus told His disciples that they could expect challenges during the end of times (Matthew 24:3, 4, 6-8). But those who love God have always faced challenges. At the beginning of the church, when Stephen was being stoned, he faced his killers by looking at Jesus (Acts 7:55, 56).  We have to be happy knowing that no matter what is going on, He has overcome the world (John 16:33).

Our family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues and even those who love the God are reeling at the latest evil acts.  They will not be satisfied by our mindless platitudes or strident homilies.  This is the time to remind everyone, including ourselves, that if we pray, study His word, and meditate on God; we will get His supernatural comfort, direction, and guidance (Isaiah 26:3). 

Although these wicked acts are painful, He will never leave us, will not forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), and He will give us the peace that goes beyond what our minds can comprehend (Isaiah 26:3).  If we will receive His peace, it will dominate our thinking and console us during any difficult situation and we can rejoice in the Lord (Habakkuk 3:18).

Matthew 24:3, 4, 6-8
New International Version (NIV)
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.
6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Acts 7:55, 56
New International Version (NIV)
55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

John 16:33
New International Version (NIV)
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Isaiah 26:3
Amplified Bible (AMP)
“You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].

Hebrews 13:5
New International Version (NIV)
… because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Habakkuk 3:18
New International Version (NIV)
yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

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