If you live in Iowa, you or someone you know was probably affected by the Derecho that blew through the state on Monday. I saw a storm building in Western Iowa, and asked my brother if he got any rain and he sent me a photo of some downed trees. We had ample warning, so we put away things that might blow away, and watched as the wind picked up. There were some branches down around town and we lost power, but it was much worse in other parts of the state. These photos are from a friend of mine in Cedar Rapids, who said all the trees around their house were gone, and obviously now lying on their house. There was widespread damage, still thousands without power across the state, and even the impact to this years crop harvest is still unknown. So, as they say, when it rains, it pours. 2020 has been a unique year in a lot of ways, don’t you think?
Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him. Job 13:15
In America, we are so full of ourselves, Christian or not, we have trouble seeing the world for what it truly is when we are so distracted. It is so easy for us to get caught up in our own wants and desires, that when our pride, ego, and entitlements are infringed upon, we get upset and complain to whoever will listen. When those complaints fall on deaf ears, we may start to wake up to a new reality, where we re-prioritize what is most important to us, and maybe to God. Much of the world wants to have it all, without doing any of the work to get it. As Christians, should we expect out lives to be trouble free and perfect if we think we are doing the right things and trusting God? That’s not what God’s Word tells us. We should expect to encounter trouble and persecution as our values clash with the world’s values. This is much more evident in some parts of the world, more than here. Do you feel you have sacrificed much for your faith?
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15:18-19
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
It should be obvious that we live in a fallen and broken world, where sometimes bad things happen to seemingly good people, where lawbreakers and those who do hurtful and evil things may get away with them, for a time. We see injustice and cry out for justice to anyone who will listen, but not all wrongs are made right in this world. Sometimes individuals, organizations, or government officials will intercede and try to make things better, but it may take years or even generations before some wrongs are corrected, and not very many wrongs are always made right the big scheme of things. Some people still seem to be taken advantage of, and others seem to die too young, and there are always people in need. This might be to remind us that all is not right in the world, and we need to be active intercessors in places where God has us and calls us to be his hands and feet. Are we willing to go for Him…To speak out and act on those things that Christ would say and do when we are able? We should be asking this each day…Lord, empower me to do those things that you call me to do each day that will make a difference in your kingdom. May you show us the way!
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
Yours in Christ,