It’s a Monday morning. I should wake up and be refreshed after a good weekend and listening to a wonderful sermon the day before. I was fine when I woke up, but something changed. I opened my phone to make sure there were no messages from my girls; a mom checking on her children. A news brief soon popped up to tell me a sheriff had been killed during the night; another policeman gone and more families torn apart. I also read of a three year old dying in a car after being left alone while the parents go into worship. I go on to read three adults and 1 child is killed and another injured in another incident. My mood turns sour and I am agitated. Families are torn apart for senseless reasons. People are acting irrationally.
A few days ago I was talking this over with God. It seems to be the devil is alive and very active and I am not happy about it. It seems like God and the devil is playing a tug of war and God isn’t doing so well right now. Then he reminds me, “it may look like that, but you know the end of the story.” He reminded me I have the Bible to tell me how this all turns out. The devil may win a few brief rounds, but God has the victory already won. Revelation 17:14 says this, “They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings. He will defeat them with his called, chosen, and faithful followers.” There is a war raging against the Lamb, but I will not fear for the Lamb will defeat them. I know the devil will be defeated. I know the outcome.
Even though I know the outcome how do I continue to face this world and watch those that rage a war against the Lord? I do it because I have hope. My hope is in the one that says he will not be defeated, but instead he will defeat the enemy. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12) In this scripture we find this, “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev 20:10). This tells me God intends to keep His promise that the devil will be destroyed. “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” Numbers 23:19 God does not lie; change his mind and he will never fail. So, I must keep my hope strong in the Lord; I will not lose hope, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 and focus on Him and not the world around me. I must remember the promise God has made that the devil will be defeated, and he that he keeps his promise.
It says in the scripture above God will defeat them with his called, chosen, and faithful followers. It’s time the called, the chosen and those who are faithful stand up and be counted. It’s time for all of those who claim we are children of God to be down on our knees in prayer, it’s time for us to put on the armor of God and wage war against the enemy through prayer, Bible Study, worship and unity. Matthew 9:37 reminds me, “Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” If we are not out working trying to gather more workers than the devil certainly will.
I often wonder what God is waiting on; how much worse can this world get before he does something and then I found this, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 Read that one more time. God does not want anyone to perish instead he wants everyone to repent. God is far more patient than I am. He has more faith in the human race than I do. Then I have to ask myself, “What am I doing to help those who God has put his faith in to repent?” Am I helping or hindering the cause God has given me? Am I willing to be just as patient as God? Do I really want everyone to repent or am I afraid there won’t be enough room in Heaven? Or am I just too consumed with those whom I love and care for to worry about others?
Life is tough right now. But my God is tougher. The outcome looks bleak, but then we are reminded we know how the story ends. The devil will be defeated and God will be the victor. We can be on the side that wins or we can be on the side that loses. We can encourage others to work with us and stand strong or we can sit back and watch the devil gather the workers for his cause.
I was raised on a farm. My mom put out a garden each year. Each summer and fall it was harvest time. The work was hard. It was not easy picking the harvest from the plants. It was hot; you got sweaty and the work was a chore. You had to make sure you got the good stuff and left the weeds behind. But, oh in the winter when we sat down to eat the harvest it was good. The work paid off. That’s the way it is with us. I know the work is hard, I know how tough it can be, I know it is a chore, but one day it will pay off and the blessings we receive will far outweigh the work.
Yes, I am discouraged, mad and angry. But, God has reminded me I know the end of the story. I know how it will all turn out. So for now I focus on God, I put my hope in Him and I continue the work of gathering workers so that no one will perish that all will repent. The workers are few, but the harvest is plentiful, won’t you join me?
Dear God, I am discouraged and sad today. I feel for all those families who have lost loved ones through senseless crimes. It seems like Satan is winning at times, but then you gently remind me I have read the end of the story and I know the outcome. Help me to stay focused on the work you have called me to do. Help me not to lose sight of the end of the story and most of all help me as I get down on my knees and pray for others, as I read your words so that I might fight the good fight, and remind me never to lose hope. For it’s in you we find our strength to carry on. Amen