In Dark Times
Today, when tragedy and horrific events happen, we know of them nearly right away. We remember where we were, what we were doing when the Twin Towers in New York were attacked. Those who are in the armed forces remember those days when they were directly involved in attacks. My grandfather was at Pearl Harbor and was one of those soldiers who got onto the bed of trucks and fired at the Japanese planes. That never left him. Here in the South we have those who still remember the hatred and the sting of racial prejudice – those who are still fighting for Civil Rights. I was in a meeting and didn’t know until afterwards about the attacks on Paris. All around the world, our hearts break with those directly affected and the fear put into their hearts.
Jesus foretold in Luke 21:10, ‘Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. But, before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, deliveringe you up to the synagogues and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.’
What did Jesus tell us to do?
“Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay or resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents and brethren and kinsfolk and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish.”
“In your patience posess ye your souls.”
Settle – Lay it Down – Jesus said settle it. When difficulties occur and there are those who try to persecute you our goal is to be Christlike. Let Him speak through us. We are not to think of ourselves first, but of others. Ultimately, we who believe in Christ have a sure foundation. The greatest need at times of adversity is in the heart of the persecutor.
Endure – Patience. It is for us to continue to be a light to others – to be steadfast. “the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.”
patience – constancy, endurance. “Possess your souls, be your own men, keep up the authority and dominion of reason, and keep under the tumults of passion, that neither grief nor fear may tyrannize over you, nor turn you out of the possession and enjoyment of yourselves.’’ In difficult times, when we can keep possession of nothing else, then let us make that sure which may be made sure, and keep possession of our souls. Secondly, It is by patience, Christian patience, that we keep possession of our own souls. “In suffering times, set patience upon the guard for the preserving of your souls; by it keep your souls composed and in a good frame, and keep out all those impressions which would ruffle you and put you out of temper.’’
This is the time to plant our feet firmly in our faith in Christ to know that there are many who need to know the truth. ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’
“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” I Thessalonians 5:11
Don’t let fear take hold of your hearts, find joy in your day, encourage others, comfort others and strengthen yourself in the LORD through prayer, reading God’s word and fellowship with believers.