Courage for the Future

Then Jesus replied to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many. You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these events are the beginning of birth pains.”            Matthew 24:4-8 (HCSB)

Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.            Psalm 37:7 (NLT)

Last night there was another presidential address designed to get Congress moving to passing laws that will create more jobs that will save our nation’s stalled economy. I didn’t listen to the speech. Frankly I have zero confidence in Congress or any politician. Each one of them has an agenda. Who’s agenda do I give my allegiance?

Dr. Bob Cornwall, pastor and teacher, wrote a book that our company published called Ultimate Allegiance: The Subversive Nature of the Lord’s Prayer. Take a moment and say the Lord’s Prayer… It is a prayer of allegiance, isn’t it? It does express Who (God) and what (His Kingdom) is my #1 priority.

In the years ahead, I am going to be challenged by what I see on the world’s stage. Jesus warned me in John 14-16 that as a disciple I would be hated and feel deserted. He told me all of this so I would know that He had gone before me to show me how to live as an “alien” in this land. He gave me His peace and hope and assurance that He has ultimately overcome the world and its “terror”.

Some may find it impossible, even foolish, to ignore the world and its politics. For me, I find that I must keep my focus on God’s Kingdom. My prayers are directed by the Holy Spirit and not the media’s spin. I do not feel the need to try to plot some timeline and match it up to Scripture passages and determine when and what God is doing. I just trust Him for every minute. I want to keep my eyes on His goal: bringing people to know Jesus and His gift of eternal life.

My struggle comes when I turn my eyes on “others” who have stable home or are able to take vacations with family. “Stuff” that I think I need. I’m sorry when I hear myself whine and am truly grateful for the many blessings that God showers on me every day. I have taken my eyes off the goal, haven’t I? And so I become “worried” and “fretful”. Not where God wants me to be!

“Shhhh, Jody, I AM aware of your needs. I will take care of you, my beloved child.” And then His Spirit gives me the courage I need for another day. It’s time for me to pray today, dear friends. The Lord’s Prayer is good place to start. Let us pray like we mean it…

Our Father who is on the throne in heaven, holy is your name.
Your Kingdom will come and what You determine – will be done, not only in heaven but here on earth.
Give us today all that we need. Forgive us for the sins we have committed, just like we forgive others who sin against us.
Keep us away from the temptation and the evil that is in our world.
For it is Your Kingdom, Your Power, and for Your glory that we live, forever and ever. So be it, LORD.

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