Posted by: Jim E | September 2, 2017

Does My World Cause Me To Be Upset…Angry…Fearful…See Evil Stalking Us Daily…How About This Idea…

Oh, no doubt the world we live in today is full of problems, protest and  anger, making us sometimes fearful and anxious…not knowing what to do, we seem so helpless…so small…so powerless…but wanting to do the right thing…there are talking heads, politicians, pundits…all telling us their view on the times and what we should believe…

Last night, at Jared (#2 son) and Marisa’s house, over supper or dinner (it all depends on where you live)…homemade lasagna, etc…we got talking about this very topic…and though it can suck all the energy out of you, to talk about it…with me, I return to what I know to be true…what I have seen work over my 75 years…and though most who read this will say, “That’s pie in the sky thinking” (being as old as I am, that “saying” may not be in your daily, or frankly yearly, or maybe lifetime use, but you get the drift, I think)…well let me say, it may be “pie in the sky”…but it is real…it holds peace and contentment…comfort and encouragement, for the time we live in…

Once in a while this happens to me, more often than I talk about it…I call it a traffic Traffic Jamjam of ideas…coming together at one time…you know, the car ahead of you stops abruptly and you and all the other cars have to jam up and come to a stop…hopefully with no accident…if you are perceptive enough, that happens with ideas, or thoughts, or topics that seem to come together…and if we are “with it”, we will try and put it together into a cogent thought process to deal with what caused the traffic stop in the first place…yesterday, it was hurricane Harvey, added with all the political, social, personal, and spiritual conflicts that we see around us…how we “fit” into all that…and how then, should we live…

As happens with me often…I remember something that I wrote down years ago…that seems to “fit” this situation we are in…may I at this time urge you to write down things that seems profound at the time…they may not be a few years from now, but on the other hand, it may be the Lord Himself Who is telling you to write it down…so…just do it…as I did it back in July 1990…a missionary from Amsterdam was speaking at our church…his message had three points…

First, “Bless the city where you live”…his idea was, no matter where you live, live in such a way as to bless that city…adding to it in positive ways for all who live there…because it comes back to bless you too…that reminded me of  Jeremiah 29:4-11 (part of that traffic jam)…it starts out this way: “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat of their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your Jeremiah twenty nine, elevenwelfare.”…Then in verses 9, 10 and 11, He gives a promise to Israel…“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”…and the Lord said, “Do not let your prophets and diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream…I did not send them, declares the Lord.”…instead, “pray to the Lord on its behalf”…pray for your city…

So where is the “traffic jam” you ask…well, above a reminder of Jeremiah 29…and Our Daily Breadalso, in my September, Our Daily Bread devotional…there was one item I read…ahead of schedule, I guess…I mean it was not to be read yesterday…but somehow I was led to read it (part of the “traffic jam”) to ready myself for this discussion…the topic…”When Discouraged About Evil”…it said in part this: “Thank you, Lord, that the forces of evil, which have taken center stage in this world, are only a small part of the real drama. Forgive me for judging the entire performance by one short scene. Thank You for the past, which show me the work You have done; for the present, which give me a chance to participate in the work You are still doing; and for the future, which will reveal the work You have accomplished. When I become discouraged about the evil that is so visible, remind me of the heavenly forces working behind the scenes to bring about Your plan for the ages.”

Second, the missionary said, “Don’t be more impressed with Satan than you are with God”…I Peter 5:8…”Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”…There are victories to be won in the Christian life, but not if we concentrate on Satan’s frightening roar….be strong…I Peter five eight

And part of the traffic jam, comes from a 1993 newsletter…John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”…”Remember this verse when things look hopeless…We’re going to be alright. It’s the gates of hell that are in for rough times.”John fourteen one

And Third, “Where God guides, God provides”…in whatever the circumstances of life…as we follow Him and do His bidding…we will see His Hand in our lives…leading, sometime into troubled situations…yet He will see us through…I have seen it over and over in my 75 years…and even those who do not believe in a God like I describe…and if they have “some years” over which to see their life, they too can but wonder how “all this just happened”…God Gudes, God Provides

So let me put this together…in our discussion of our times, a traffic jam of ideas have flowed into a way to view and a way to live…I remember a day, many years ago now…Judie and I were just married…it was 1963 and we were moving to Mankato, Minnesota, where I was going to finish my undergraduate degree…I remember the Lord speaking to me about the years ahead…and the immediate time ahead of us…I was alone…and I got down on my knees by our bed…and prayed that God would lead us, would make me the kind of husband He wanted me to be…and the leader He wanted me to be…and I promised Him then, that no matter what came our way, I would always believe…I asked Him to give me the strength to stand up to all attacks…and I promised that I would always believe, even if people could prove that God didn’t exist…I would still believe…and would believe His Word to be true…and those things would guide my and Judie’s life together…

And you know…all these years later, 54 years…that is still true for us…there have been many challenges over those years, but God has been faithful…and still today…He is faithful…hey, He even uses “The Traffic Jam of ideas” to get my attention off me, and on to Him…He will get us through all the anger, fear, the upsetting ideas and evil that stalks our lives today…May God Bless You Today…

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