A Time Is Coming

The earth is groaning with hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, and forest fires.  People are groaning with poverty, physical sickness, mental illness, and broken relationships. In it all we ask ourselves — why?  I’m sure you’ve heard people ask the question, “if there is a God and if He cares, then why doesn’t He stop the suffering?”

Many of you will know that God created the earth and its people in perfection.  The first man had an opportunity to stay in this paradise by following the ways of God or to suffer consequences of imperfection, destroying a once flawless life, by his own choice.  Man chose the latter; therefore today, we all suffer the consequences. The earth suffers, mankind suffers, but what does God do?  He goes on loving.  He goes on comforting us in our suffering, and most wonderfully, He provides a way out.

You see, God could have washed His hands of all of us because of mankind’s original choice, but His perfect love would not let Him turn His back on us.  Instead, He gave a wonderful promise.  He has promised that there is coming a time when the earth will once again be made new and mankind will never again live in poverty or sickness.  A time is coming when there will be no more sorrow or tears.  A time is coming when joy and peace will fill the earth and all its inhabitants for eternity.

The above is great news, but it also comes to each one of us as a result of a choice.  Like the first man, we too, must choose either God’s way or our own.  The Apostle Paul said in II Corinthians 4:8 & 18, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken.  We are perplexed but we don’t give up and quit. We don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen.  For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.”

We do not have to be consumed by today’s troubles; we can walk through them in the very strength of God.  We don’t have to wallow in despair of our current situations; we can live in the hope that a time is coming when tears and sorrow will be no more.

God Himself urges us on like a fan in the stands calling out for his team  to go, go, go!  Cross the finish line!  Be a winner!  A time is coming when a glorious eternal prize will be ours.

When You Are Chosen

This afternoon, as I was reviewing a certain joy of the day, the words of Luke 15:3-7 came to mind: “Jesus told this story, ‘If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do?  Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?  And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders.  When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.”  

What was the joy of the day?  I got to go with friends, Viv and Nat, to look at puppies!  Would they choose one?  Yes, they did!  This pup needed a home and now has one.  She was chosen.  Now she will learn the ways of her household.  She will settle into their routine.  She will love pleasing them.  She will love hearing the words, “You’re a good dog!”  She will love her tasty rewards.  She will know she is protected and that her needs are provided.  She will come to know and trust all these things.  Why?  Because already she knows she is loved.

She has been rescued from the very small world she knew.  Today, an unimaginable new world opened before her.   She rode in a car, walked on grass, and went inside a house.  Goodness gracious!  What excitement for one who had thus far only known the four walls of a makeshift kennel — and it all came about because she was chosen.  Someone came, found her, chose her, and will love her all the days of her life.

Sound familiar?  Before someone comes to know Jesus, they, too, are confined to their natural worlds.  Then, one joyful day, Jesus comes, like the shepherd going after his lost sheep, and He takes them unto Himself.

He chooses us.  He sees our worldly and ungodly hearts, and He cleans us up.  He gives us new desires.  He pours in a joy that nothing in the natural world ever gave us.  It’s unexplainable but it’s real.  Suddenly, we are reborn into an eternal security that makes us know of a certainty that we are chosen, protected, and our needs are provided.  The more we come to know our rescuer, the more we trust Him, the more we love to please Him, the more we want to know about Him, the more we love hearing Him speak into our hearts, “You’re a good son or you’re a good daughter!”  The more we know Him, the more we recognize and enjoy the blessings of being a member of His household.  Like the words of the song, our hearts can sing, “the longer I know Him, the sweeter He grows.”

Isn’t it a joy to be chosen?  Isn’t it a joy to be rescued from our natural worlds and to be introduced to the holy, supernatural one?  Remember, everyone is chosen, but not everyone accepts what is offered.  God chooses us, but gives us free choice to choose Him.

Have you chosen Him?  If you never have done so before, you can do that right now.  Just ask Him to forgive you of your sins, thank Jesus for dying for you on the cross, and tell Him you choose Him.  Ask Him to come into your life and to make you new.  He will.  He will come instantly.  He will come and fill you with a joy such as you have never known.

Blessings to all — you are chosen.