Witness Him Now
September 12, 2021
I have been meditating on what has happened in our country in the last 20 years. A lot - most of it not very good. Then this morning this passage showed up in my morning reading.
If people crush underfoot
all the prisoners of the land,
if they deprive others of their rights
in defiance of the Most High,
if they twist justice in the courts -
doesn't the LORD see all these things?
Who can command things to happen
without the LORD's permission?
Does not the Most High
send both calamity and good?
Then why should we, mere humans, complain
when we are punished for our sins?
Instead, let us test and examine our ways.
Let us turn back to the LORD.
Let us lift our hearts and hands
to God in heaven and say,
"We have sinned and rebelled,
and you have not forgiven us."
"You have engulfed us with Your anger, chased us down,
and slaughtered us without mercy.
You have hidden yourself in a cloud
so our prayers cannot reach You.
You have discarded us as refuse and garbage
among the nations."(Lamentations 34-45)
Everything that is happening in this country is happening because the LORD gave permission for it to happen. We have sinned and rebelled against the Most High. You know we have. And now God is engulfing us with His anger. He is chasing us down, and He is slaughtering us without mercy. That is what is written. BUT - we serve a merciful God! Hallelujah, thank you Jesus! Listen to what Jeremiah said when he was being disciplined by the LORD.
I am the one who has seen the afflictions
that come from the rod of the LORD's anger.
He has led me into darkness,
shutting out all light.
He has turned His hand against me
again and again, all day long.
He has made my skin and flesh grown old,
He has broken my bones.
He has besieged and surrounded me
with anguish and distress.
He has buried me in a dark place,
like those long dead.
He has walled me in, and I cannot escape.
He has bound me in heavy chains.
And though I cry and shout,
He has shut out my prayers.
He has blocked my way with a high stone wall;
He has made my way crooked.
He has hidden like a bear or a lion,
waiting to attack me.
He has dragged me off the path and torn me in pieces,
leaving me helpless and devastated.
He has drawn His bow
and made me the target for His arrows. (Lamentations 3:1-12)
Can you see yourself in any of this passage? Darkness? Anguish? Distress? Heavy chains? Helpless? Devastated? If so, let me finish telling Jeremiah's story.
The thought of my suffering and homelessness
is bitter beyond words.
I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
Yet I still DARE TO HOPE
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the LORD never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is His faithfulness;
His mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance;
therefore, I will HOPE in Him!"
The LORD is good to those who DEPEND ON HIM,
to those who SEARCH FOR HIM.
So it is good to wait quietly
for salvation from the LORD.
And it is good for people to submit at an early age
to the yoke of His discipline. (Are you listening, young people?)
Let them sit alone in silence
beneath the LORD's demands.
Let them lie face down in the dust,
for there may be hope at last.
Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them
and accept the insults of their enemies.
For no one is abandoned
by the LORD forever! Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!!!!
Though He brings grief, He also shows compassion
because of the GREATNESS OF HIS UNFAILING LOVE.
For He does not enjoy hurting people
or causing them sorrow. (Lamentations 3:19-33)
I know that the things I have been writing the last week are hard words. Discipline is a hard word - but necessary. Our God disciplines those He loves. Judgment is a hard word - but it is here, and it is only beginning. What I want to leave you is HOPE. No matter what happens, remember that the faithful love of the LORD never ends. His mercies never cease, they are renewed every morning. More mercy every morning. God does not give us everything we deserve. Hallelujah, thank you Jesus. No one is abandoned by the LORD forever. Though He brings grief, He also shows compassion. He is wanting us to turn right now. He is wanting us to come to Him without excuse and confess our sins so that He can forgive us. He is wanting us to trust Him and depend on Him. He is wanting us to search for Him with our whole heart, holding nothing back.
In Jeremiah 29:12 God says, "In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find Me. I will be found by you," says the LORD. "I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land."
We are living in "those days," and God's promises are "yes" and "amen." There is a window of opportunity to come to Jesus right now. "Gather together - yes, gather together, you shameless nation. Gather before judgment begins, before your time to repent is blown away like chaff. Act now, before the fierce fury of the LORD falls and the terrible day of the LORD's anger begins. Seek the LORD, all who are humble, and follow His commands. Seek to do what is right and to live humbly. Perhaps even yet the LORD will protect you - protect you from His anger on that day of destruction." (Zephaniah 2:1-3)
Blessings, my friends. No matter what happens, fix your eyes on Jesus, guard your heart, and give thanks. God is always up to something good.
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."