For Such a Time as This
By Jan Markell
This office has been receiving communications in the last few months revealing that some Christians 1) Are discouraged by the level of struggle they are facing; 2) Are tired of bad news and don't wish to hear or read anything negative; 3) Feel they are being tested beyond what they can endure; 4) Feel a sense of hopelessness in many areas from finances, to relationships, to grief over the dismantling of America. Some express fear along with grief and anxiety.
Christians can shoot their wounded, so I hope no one considers these people to be lesser Christians who need chastisement. They need encouragement. Nobody said it would be easy to be born for such a time as this.
Ministries like this one could compromise as many churches have. We could switch and present "feel good" articles and "happy talk" radio. We could stop sharing the inconvenient truth. Well, we will not.
The Bible says that when unrighteous people rule a nation, the people groan (Prov. 29:2). Thus, many in America are literally groaning and weeping. It would be better to be down on your knees, praying without ceasing for our great nation. As stated above in point 4, many are grieving at the loss of the America we once knew.
One of our "Understanding the Times 2009" speakers is Gary Kah. In his spring hard copy newsletter that you can order here, Gary says, "Thankfully, for Christians who have placed their hope and trust in Jesus Christ, the road does not end here. The turbulence and trials of life should only heighten our dependence on the Lord. We must put less of our faith in the material things of this world, while placing more and more of our confidence and trust in Jesus who loves us and has an eternal purpose for each of us.
"Some of us are being tested even now, being refined so that we will be more effective and loyal to Christ in the days ahead. I can tell you personally that the last few months have been among the most challenging of my life. Satan has come against our efforts from seemingly every angle to stop this message from getting out. He has not succeeded, but we have paid the price for what we are doing. It has not been easy.
"A growing number of Christians are becoming discouraged by the increasing level of difficulties they are facing. Some believe that God may be punishing them for some reason when, in reality, it is Satan who is coming against them because of their obedience to God."
I agree with Gary's summation, and I, too, can be overwhelmed with the challenges of life and ministry. If you are in turmoil, you are not alone. In fact, you might be troubling the enemy and be doing something right.
Can you focus on some hopeful verses of the Bible?
"Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord" (Psalm 31:24).
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord" (Jeremiah 17:7).
"Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God" (Psalm 43:5).
Not all reading this may hold to this theology, but many are comforted by it. We have a great and glorious God who is returning. We are "Looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).
The marginalization of Christians has only just begun, and how much persecution we must endure, we do not know. (Hear my May 2 programming about this at "Radio Archives" - hour 2.) Without being argumentative and without dividing from those who believe differently, I am clinging to the promises in II Thessalonians 4:13-18. There we read that the church is removed before the worst comes upon this aching planet. Read those verses then follow verse 18 and "comfort one another." And so shall we ever be with the Lord.
To learn more about this and related topics, visit my "Prophecy Watch" category at the Web site.