Christ must be vitally real to us if we are to remain faithful to Him in the hour of crisis. And who knows how near that hour may be? The wheels of God’s judgment can be heard by discerning people in the assembly of the United Nations, in the conferences of political leaders, in the offices of the editors of great newspapers or television networks around the world. The need for turning to God has never been more urgent.
The words of Isaiah, whom God used to confound an ancient godless aggressor is for us today: “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will flee pardon” (55:6-7).
In his encounter with Goliath, David proved that outward armor is not nearly so important as the man within the armor. Unless men of purpose, integrity, and faith stand together in unswerving loyalty to Jesus Christ, the future of the world is dark indeed.
To prepare ourselves for the suffering and persecution, which seems to be inevitable, we need also to foster and strengthen the small movement, call “Christian cells”. In the United States today, as well as in the other parts if the world, we are witnessing the breakdown and erosion of the family unit. Divorce is rampant, even among Christians, and “living together” is increasingly common. It is only the strong Christian family unit that can survive the coming world issues. And only Jesus Christ is vitally real to us family members can we build strong families.
God’s “story” is one of romance. The romance begins with God in a relationship beyond our wildest imagination. Think of your best moments of love or friendship or creative partnership, the best times with family or friends around the dinner table, your richest conversation, the acts of simple kindness that sometimes seem like the only things that make life worth living. For example, the shimmer of sunlight on a lake, these are reflections of the love that flows from God. We long for intimacy because we are made in the image of perfect intimacy. Still, what we don’t have and may never have known, is often a more powerful reminder of what ought to be.
Our story begins with The Hero in love. And yet, what kind of love? There are indeed selfish forms of love relationships that are closed to the outside world. But real love creates a generous openness. Have you ever been so caught up in something that you just had to share it? When you are walking alone in the woods, something takes your breath away–a sunset, a waterfall, or a simple song of a bird–and you think, “if only my beloved were here”. The best things in life were meant to be shared.
I faintly remember Sunday afternoons as a boy before my Dad passed away. Sundays would find Aunts, Uncles and Cousins gathered at the old farm. The grown-ups would be sitting on the porch, talking, laughing and playing tricks on the kids. The children would be running across the pasture fields, enjoying the great outdoors. I wasn’t responsible for these days. They didn’t depend on me. These were the best days of life being shared and experienced through genuine love of family.
And so it is with God’s story. Before any of our complex and sometimes overwhelming smaller stories took center stage, there was something truly wonderful going on. “Once upon a time” there existed the kind of Home we’ve been looking for all of our life. It is this Home that we will someday discover. It is this Home that “The Hero” has created for us, and reserved for us. It is this Home that is filled for all eternity with love that was meant to be shared. Yes, from the beginning we know God is a lover at heart.
It seems the more knowledge we acquire, the less wisdom we seem to have. The economic security we gain, the more boredom we generate. The more worldly pleasure we enjoy, the less satisfied and contented we are with life. We are like a restless sea, finding a little peace here and a little peace there, but nothing permanent and satisfying. So the search continues! Men will kill, lie, cheat, steal, and go to war to satisfy their quest for power, pleasure, and wealth, thinking thereby to gain for themselves and their particular group peace, security, contentment, and happiness.
However, inside us is a little voice that keeps saying, “We were not meant to be this way. We were meant for better things.” We have a mysterious feeling that there is a “fountain” somewhere that contains the happiness which makes life worthwhile. We keep saying to ourselves that somewhere, sometime we will stumble onto the secret. Sometimes we feel that we have already obtained it, only to find that we have been disillusioned and unhappy.
The happiness, I have learned, which brings worth to our lives is not the superficial happiness that is dependent on circumstances. It is the happiness and contentment that fills the soul even in the midst of the most distressing of circumstances. A few years ago, I was dependent upon circumstances that fulfilled me and gave me true happiness. But, is was through a circumstance that I discovered again my Lord and Savior. He brought me to a time when it was simply Him and me, alone. After all, isn’t that the only thing that matters? When everything in life is peeled away, all that should truly remain is Jesus and me….Jesus and YOU.
” The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid” (Psalm 27:1)?
Have you found that “fountain” of happiness and contentment? Are you STILL looking? You can find it ONLY in Jesus Christ.
I recently read a story about a computer expert named Bill Husted. Mr. Husted went to his fortieth high school reunion, and upon entering he shook hands and hugged people for twenty minutes before he realized there were two high school reunions in the building that day, and he was at the wrong one.
Mr. Husted, a technology expert, used that experience to illustrate one of his own ideas for troubleshooting: Check the obvious first. Before you replace the sound card, make sure the volume control is not turned down. If the modem isn’t working, check to see if it’s connected.
I am in no way a computer “expert”, just ask my children! However, I am pretty sure when I am feeling a little sluggish, or I am not running on all cylinders, I know I need to check the obvious. I need to make sure that I am connected to the Source of my strength. The Scripture says, ” God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble” ( Psalm 46:1). He is there to help us whenever we are struggling ! He is there to lift us up from the depths of our hurts or pain! So, before you give up, check the obvious first.