Thursday, August 20, 2015

Today’s Troubles Will Test Us

        Lots of words describe trouble:  disaster, forest fire, robbery, wreck, flood, attack, tragedy, violence.   Today’s newspapers and the latest TV and Internet reports bring us a huge list of troubles from here and around the world. 
        What’s the logical thing to do?  Perhaps turn off the TV after an hour of the bad news?  Or, look into the cause and effect of some of the troubles that pique our interest?  Maybe write to our senators, our representatives, and post to social media websites?
        Today’s troubles will test us.  That same fact has applied to each person, even way, way, way back in the olden days.  God allows calamities, disease, failures, wars to get our attention. 

        “But I thought God loved us,” someone will point out.  Yes, He does.  But He set the standards for right and wrong. There are consequences to consider.  
        “But I thought God is going to forgive us.  You know, because of Jesus and the cross?”
        The fact is many troubles caused by individuals, groups, nations must be dealt with on an individual level.  How you personally deal with each instance of trouble can make your life better or worse. 
        Future troubles are going to increase in number and severity and will involve us, our money, our jobs, our kids, our future. (Of course, one day each of us will die and leave the rest of the disasters to the rest of the population to deal with. We don’t know how many days of life we have left.)
        Many occurrences of wars, uprisings, killings, are described in the Bible and those who paid no attention to the words of God pronounced by godly people had no excuse.  Suffering was often intense.  
      Being bad was a popular thing to do.  They embraced evil for the excitement. We read about people who worshipped trees and rocks, “gods” they made by hand and then prayed to.  They ignored the truth of the history of their countries, the warnings of those who believed and obeyed the one, true God, Creator and Maker of Everything. 
      The three short chapters in the Bible written by one man years ago predicts huge disaster and ascribes the blame, but also pronounces the possibilities of reprieve and relief.  
        It only takes a few minutes to flip open to the book of Zephaniah, the 4th to the last book in the Old Testament and read those 53 verses, see for yourself the scary and solemn parts and the promised deliverance.   
    “But, horrible, undeserved disasters even happen to good people sometimes!”  Yes, and that’s quite a test!  
        Today we are challenged to set a good example for others.  We are to confess our sins and shortcomings, ask for forgiveness, and receive the powerful blessings we need now and in the future.  We can trust God, pray for wisdom and strength, then He can empower us to speak up at the right time and do the right thing.  Our eternal destiny depends on our decisions. 
        Now pray for those in desperate situations to turn to the one true God and have that life-changing transformation that only the one true Savior can bring. The LORD will bless you and make you a blessing to others.  You CAN pass the test of troubles.        + + +  

by Elaine Hardt ©2015