Today’s Readings: click here – Psalm 123; Judges 2:6-15; Revelation 16:1-7 (to open the scripture links – hover over, right click, open hyperlink)
For such a time as this, peace, calmness and understanding may be among things we are seeking the most. Prayer, especially, becomes our weighted blanket bringing much needed peace and comfort, like a healing balm. Reading, studying and applying scripture, likewise, is crucial to our well-being. Psalm 123:3 calls out to God to have mercy on us, for we have had our fill of a multitude of contempt. With this upsurge of disorder, anarchy and utter madness in our midst, Jesus really is our only hope and help in such a time as this. We may be experiencing that prayer is being pushing aside as unwarranted helplessness that overshadows our power of hope. Here’s an idea to reclaim hope in Jesus by talking with Him when prayer just seems so aloof –
* Set a specific and realistic length of time that you will spend in devoted prayer (2min, 5min, etc)
* If words still won’t come, begin with giving thanks for the day, and other things that come to mind.
* Still having Prayer-Jam? Pray the Lord’s Prayer. It pretty much covers everything. Remember, God
knows your heart, He is just so delighted to spend this time with you, His child.
* Finally, just be still. Be still and silent. Let the Holy Spirit fill you with a renewed energy and
calming tranquility, that surpasses all understanding. (Philippians 4:4-9 ).
We are like this psalmist, waiting and watching for God to cover us with his mercy, because His judgement against sin is certain and warrants His wrath when evil and darkness plague us. The more we are still and waiting, our prayers become cries and our cries give us enduring hope from darkness to light.
Like the Israelites in our scripture today from Judges vs.10, (10 After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel) after Joshua died, that next generation kinda resembles our up and coming generation now, displaying selfish attitudes, corrupt behavior, cynical antics, unimaginable beliefs and wage on war, that just seem to continue escalating. God is cringing, I just know it. How hurt He must be to see our world in shambles yet again with many idols at our fingertips and filling our lives. He is forewarning us, just like He warned the Israelites (15 Every time Israel went out to battle, the Lord fought against them, causing them to be defeated, just as he had warned. And the people were in great distress). I feel we are at constant battle everyday, and our distress seems stifling and unmeasurable. God is getting our attention, but many don’t know his voice, nor care to.
Despite the Israelites disobedience and worship of other gods and idols, God showed boundless mercy by raising up judges to save the people from their sins and oppressions. Mercy has been defined as ‘not giving a person what he/she deserves’ and it is what God did for them then and continues to do for us now through his Son Jesus Christ. Our sins and disobedience demands firm judgement, by all means. Through Jesus, God has given us a way out of our tangled mess of sins and waywardness, to repent and change our ways. When we talk with God, seeking forgiveness, we are asking for something we do not deserve. Yet, when we trust God that Jesus is our ‘Saving Grace and a Merciful Hope’ and that He is working on our behalf, we experience ultimate and endless forgiveness that unlocks the grips of sin and lets hope in.
Our Revelation passage today mirrors the same warnings of God’s final wrath with the Israelites and other generations throughout scripture. That in the end, God ultimately opposes and destroys evil. Those who choose to revolt against God, in the end, will suffer and forfeit an eternal life in heaven. God does not play by our rules with appeal of tolerance and absolution. God sets standards, rules and judgement with His power, according to the perfection of His morals and commandments we are called to live by.
So, let us be mindful to stay alert, remain prayerful, spread the good news of the Gospel, proclaim Jesus as our Savior, protecting us from the unthinkable and intense disorder and anarchy of our world, because in such a time as this, the darkness lurks everywhere, but it cannot overcome the light, God’s light. (John 1:5).
Here are a few songs for your spiritual listening and meditation:
Lord Jesus, thank you for another day that brings me closer to you. Help me to not fear this world, because You have overcome it. I shout your name in praise for your mighty strength that I would remain unwavering with faith in this life with the greatest reward. Please forgive me of my transgressions. Set me on your lofty throne. In Jesus’ holy and mighty name, I claim this now. AMEN