Dec. 18, 2020

Hanging On To Hope

 

Maybe its time to social distance from social media for awhile. I'm convinced that our minds were not created to be given over to relentless drama. I’m at the point where I don't want to hear it, see it, or add to it. That's not denial; it's so I can not only get through reality, but actually thrive in the midst of what is taking place, Lord willing, and even spiritually and creatively transcend it. 

Propaganda works best by getting buy in from participants, especially when it's as loud, frequent, jumbled, and fragmented as it's been for the last… 12 years. 

And everyone has a different story. Divide and divide and divide… "Solve et coagulum?" 

Time to leave that theater and shut it down. I'm becoming convinced that the more we stare into the abyss, the more its gaze penetrates us - like a big cobra, a serpent. Imagine that. It starts by emotional and mental absorption. Next up it erodes the will of the gazer, swooning, falling… Trapped.

Psalm 37:34 promises, "Wait on the Lord, And keep His way, And He shall exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it." There's a lot of hope in this, if we can receive it. The commands and promises of our Lord are more important for building hope and maintaining the faith muscle right now than ever before. The entire Psalm 37 is excellent in this regard. It's a strong reminder about Who is actually in charge.

Consider why where we focus is so important. According to Romans 15:4, "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." 

It's one of the three that abide per 1 Corinthians 13 - faith, HOPE, and love. While love is the greatest, I don't think we talk enough about hope. Not the false hopes of the world, but the rock solid hope that is extended to us by the love of God in Jesus Christ, Who came to redeem us lost and condemned creatures and restore in us His own likeness.

Part of that hope is to understand the purpose of the tough and challenging times upon us. "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:17,18. 

Ah, now faith too comes into view, being tied to hope. It sees what is not yet, but what is promised and hoped for!

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12.

Hope seems to be at a premium lately, but maybe that's because we're always scrutinizing the monsters that demolish it. So maybe we can admonish and encourage one another instead to look patiently to the comfort of the Scriptures, specifically to the Gospel. It's not called Good News for nothing. This life will end. This world will end. The darkness will also end with it, and I think we need to hear that! So what comes after that is vitally important.

We can point each other to God's promises. I've found these to be greatly encouraging for a long time, but especially now as times of unprecedented darkness enshroud the whole world and the Church. 

We're not going to be exempted from going through what's already here! Most of us have not experienced this in the USA, unless we escaped tyranny in another country where the darkness has already overwhelmed those lands. 

So might it be time to light a candle of hope and encouragement, rather than bemoan and curse the darkness?

It's time to learn to set our mind and hope on things above where Christ is seated (See Colossians 3:1-4. You can look up that one yourself, as well as the "THEREFORE" that follows in verse 5 and beyond.) 

It's coming down to it that soon there will be little in terms of "happiness" in this temporary world upon which to fix any hope. The props are going off the stage, and there's a new act to be played out. 

Let’s remember - the Church and what we call the New Testament were birthed in the midst of great oppression and persecution. Dare we think that as the beginning, so the end because of the stakes and who's got a pony in the race? 

Every era has produced conflict since the beginning of time. Relentlessly. It seems that the fruit of the Vine is produced by seasons of pruning.

There are godly reasons which provide meaning to our current afflictions, reminders that they're actually preparing us to receive that eternal weight of glory that cannot be taken away from us in Christ Jesus. 

Nothing in this life is permanent. At times we're asked to go through confusion and conflict. The good times do not roll on forever. Believe it or not, there's a purpose. 

I'll stop now this with a link to a video that I think provides some answers, about what in the world is going on for Heaven's sake. It's called The Great Divide Has Begun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgS70xPoaVM

May you be blessed. 

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