Sackcloth and Ashes, or Reason to Rejoice?

by Rebecca Olmstead on November 7, 2012

in Meat & Potatoes

Blessings Friends,

Like many Christians in America, I woke up  this morning with a heart as heavy as Jeremiah. How could a nation founded on and dedicated to The Most High God, so readily turn its back on Him? But I have to remember the words of Paul in Colossians 1:16:

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”

All in authority are put there by God for His purpose.

For a year I’ve been fasting and asking God to open the eyes of the people, that they would see their sin for what it is, repent, and turn back to God.

2 Chronicles 7:14: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Though I hoped it would be done as painlessly as possible, in the back of my mind, I knew what it would mean.

For over six-thousand years, history has repeatedly shown us that the people of God  forget Him in times of prosperity. They begin to believe that their prosperity came by their own hands, and they no longer see a need for God.

Only when God brings judgment on His people do they cry out to Him and determine to serve Him once again. Apparently, all of the natural disasters we are experiencing haven’t been enough to get America’s attention.

With the election of officials bent on the financial destruction of our nation and the alienation of Israel, and the legalization of homosexual marriage, added to the already legalized mass murder of our unborn, I’m afraid our troubles have only begun. We need only read 2 Chronicles 7:19-20, and Genesis 12:3 to know this.

But, even as I slept last night, the words of a song kept ringing in my mind. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”

As much as I mourn for a nation bringing judgment upon itself, my hope is not built on a nation. It is not built on an election or its candidates and referendums. My hope is built not on the laws of man, but on the laws of a living, all-mighty God.

The true Christian has no nation here on Earth–yet. But the time is coming when our Lord will collect His nation out of the world and take us home to a wedding feast. That is where our hope lies, and that is why we should be rejoicing.

Each downturn of the economy, each worldly slide downward into immorality, each natural disaster brings us that much closer to the return of our Redeemer.

Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

But, as Jesus said in John 17, we may be in the world, but we are not of the world. If we are to take part in the wedding feast, we must make certain we have enough oil for our lamps to last until the arrival of The Bridegroom. We must not let the failings of the world turn our focus from Christ and what He has called us to do.

Luke 21:36: “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

2 Timothy 4:2: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”

The world’s economy is not God’s economy. While the world looks to itself and its governments to feed it and supply its needs, the children of God look to our Father.

Psalm 136:25: Who gives food to all flesh, For His mercy endures forever.”

Luke 12:29-31: “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.  For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.  But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.”

While the world seeks to force its “if it feels good, do it” lifestyle on every living thing, the children of God look to The Way, The  Truth, and The Life.

2 Timothy 4:3-4: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;  and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

John 14:6: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'”

While the world sees natural disasters as reasons to question and curse God, the children of God trust in his Word.

Psalm 46:1-3: “God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.

 “Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling.”

So rejoice, oh children of God. David once said,

“Why did the nations rage,
And the people plot vain things?

The kings of the earth took their stand,
And the rulers were gathered together
Against the Lord and against His Christ.”
–Psalm 4:26

But Jesus said,

“In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”–John 16:33

God’s grace and peace be yours,

Rebecca

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