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God is still turning sorrow into joy!

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We all know that sometimes bad things happen to good people. Hardly any of us could say that we don’t know someone who has had to endure hardships not of their own choosing. Some of us are afflicted with incurable diseases that we wouldn’t wish on anyone. Still others of us have had to endure the hellish torment of abuse.

Oftentimes it is people we know and trust, people we are close to that will inflict the greatest hurt, leaving the victim shell shocked and asking “why?” or “how”?

Living as we do in a fallen world, a world seemingly dominated by evil, it is inevitable that hurt and pain will come to us. This, however, is not a new thing but merely a repeat of past human performances.

In the Bible there is a story of a young man named Joseph who was the apple of his father’s eye. His older brothers were so jealous of him that they found an occasion to sell Joseph to a caravan of slave traders, thinking they had finally rid themselves of their father’s “pet”.

Unbeknownst to the older siblings however, God had another plan. You see, God knew that a great famine was coming upon the land and many people would starve unless He intervened. Aren’t you glad that God intervenes in the affairs of man?

As impossible as it sounds, it was God who had orchestrated the selling of Joseph into slavery. In the years to come God gave Joseph favor in the house of Pharaoh to the point that he was second in power over all the land. Because of this divine intervention, Joseph was able to provide food and sustenance to the children of Israel, including his own father and brothers.

The wonderful story of Joseph ends with him telling his brothers…

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”     Genesis 50:20

Many of us have a similar story of God’s deliverance to tell, and I am no exception. I have experienced firsthand how that God can take a horrible situation and turn it into something beautiful.

There are few things a Christian would rather avoid than divorce, especially a divorce that you not only did not want, but one in which there are no biblical grounds for. I was forced into just such a situation many years ago, and the impact to me was completely devastating.

The mental anguish, the heartbreak that seemed to never go away, the catastrophic impact upon a once very promising ministry, all of these and much more were the result of a decision made by another person. A person I trusted.

When you are living a nightmare such as this, you feel as though your life is over. Everything you believed in, trusted in, and longed for is now gone. What remains is a void, a vacuum that cannot be filled. Life becomes a painful, daily chore of going through the motions, somehow detached from the living but existing nonetheless.

Each day of this zombie like existence becomes a test of your will to survive, because you don’t dare think beyond your present circumstances. To do so would be too risky, and at such a vulnerable state you cannot permit yourself to have even the slightest hope.

Thirty years ago I could never have permitted myself to have hope for a future. I was convinced that my life was destined to be one of failure, hurt, and misery. After all, how could I expect anything but that? When you have sunk so low that you have to reach up just to touch the bottom, what hope is there?

To be sure, evil can and does interrupt our lives with often devastating results, but I have learned that God always has another plan! Even though others might devise evil and hurt to inflict us with, God will take that and turn it into something beautiful if we will allow Him to take us through the refining process.

Yet God, the merciful and loving Father, had a different plan. A plan I could not see for the hurt and the tears, but a plan nonetheless. His plan included a hope for a future, one without hurt, pain, and resentment.

As I write this today, I am mindful of where I have come from. God not only delivered me, but He restored my life back to me, and in fact gave me a better life than I ever would have had! Who but God could do such things?

If today you find yourself in despair, the victim of someone’s evil intentions, you really can hope for a better life. In the shelter of our Fathers arms there is comfort and warmth, a respite from the fiery darts of the wicked.

May I encourage you to run into those arms today? I know that if you will do so, He will begin to reveal to you a better plan and a better life. It may not come over night, but there is a peace that passes all understanding in knowing that He is working on your behalf.

Be blessed,

Ron

 

A violent and bloody land

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If there is one thing that dominates the news today it is violence. Whether it’s the mass murder of Christians praying in their church or the slaughter of children by ISIS,it is clear that violence is quickly becoming the new norm.

So much so that the many violent acts being perpetuated hardly raise an eyebrow. I can remember just a few years ago how shocking it was to hear about a murder or other violent crime,especially when it happened to a child.

Now,we’ve become nearly desensitized to it all haven’t we? This is why I said it has become the new norm. What does it take to truly shock you today? Or does anything at all shock you,or have we come to the point of accepting things because “that’s just how the world is today”?

That is the mindset of many,I’m afraid.There is this sense of throwing in the towel about the worl we live in.

Fortunately,we have a source of unbiased truth that clearly spells out the direction that things are headed.

In his second letter to Timothy,The Apostle Paul said that as the coming of the Lord drew nearer sin would be on the increase.

2 Timothy 3:13 (KJV)
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

No one who has spent any time in serious study of the word can say that we are not living this very scripture today. Not only is sin increasing but the severity of it is many times greater than what we are accustomed to.

Truly men’s hearts have become hardened to the things of God,and this allows them to pursue their evil intentions with no regard for anyone but themselves.

The bible also speaks of a time when “sin shall come to the full”….

23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. Daniel 8:23

Yes,things are going to get much worse. Transgressions are going to come to the full,which means evil on an unprecedented scale will become our new society,or our new normal.

All of this is happening to set in motion the things that are yet to be. Even Jesus himself spoke of a time when great tribulation,such as never has been seen,will come upon the earth.

Trouble is coming,and we in the church do not want to hear this. We want to be told that God is going to ride in on a white horse and rescue us from the coming persecution because after all,we in America deserve better.Of course,we say this while thousands of our brothers and sisters are killed every day in other lands.

The church,or the light of the world,should be the one voice declaring to the world that great trouble is soon to envelop us and that there can be no escape from it apart from Jesus Christ.

Instead we in the church set idly by,blinded to the truths of what is coming,willingly allowing ourselves to be deceived so that we can maintain our false status of somehow being above all of this which is to come. As if by doing so we can somehow distance ourselves from the evil that is all around us.

While many are bemoaning the recent SCOTUS decision regarding marriage they fail to see that this is but the tip of the proverbial iceberg.The descent into the depths of darkness we are headed for will go nearly unchallenged by the church,for we have become all too comfortable with sin.

We,the church,have become used to the dark.We are at ease there.What used to cause us to turn and run away from now draws us like a moth to a flame.

Abortion…prayerless churches and homes…courts that no longer recognize the authority of God…this is where we live…and we are comfortable with it. Do you suppose,just for a moment, that God might be wondering…….

Where are the churches calling for prayer? Where are the church leaders who should be calling their members to prayer meetings in hopes of stemming the tide of rebellion and sin in our lands?

Instead,we have hirelings whose only mission it seems is to attend their next great conference or build their next great building or write their next book. Prayer meetings? Not likely!

Where are the men of God today that ought to be standing boldly in their pulpits declaring what thus says the Lord?

Instead we have pulpiteers who are most adept at making sure you know how special you are, that you are made to feel good so you will return the following week,who would never dream of telling you what I’m telling you.

Violence and evil are the fruits of the seeds we have sown,and I am afraid that we will reap abundantly before the coming of the Lord.

I know in Whom I believe and trust. I am convinced that God himself will make a way for those who are prepared for what is coming,to stand. My hope is in the Lord,not man or any elected official. Where is your hope?

My prayer is that you who read this blog will understand that time is of the essence and begin to read,study,and pray like never before.

Ron

Is it Really Racism?

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This is not a political post so if that’s what you were looking for you won’t find it here.Neither is it a post about gun control.No,this post is about something that goes deeper than racism. Much deeper.

This is a post about “WHY” people do the things they do,in particular why heinous crimes are committed in the first place.

The recent tragedy in the Charleston South Carolina church is one more reminder that there are those among us who will stop at nothing in their attempts to garner attention to their favorite cause.

Upon hearing the news reports of this act of violence the news media immediately branded this a hate crime.Specifically,a hate crime spawned by the racist mindset of a young man.

Here is where I completely disagree with the masses.

Oh,there can be no doubt that this young man’s mind had been poisoned by racist thoughts.Just as certain is the fact that he planned this murdering rampage to take place in a house of worship in order to get the maximum shock value.

Yet for all of his deliberate actions I believe the media and nearly all Christians who have spoken publicly about this have overlooked one very important thing.

You see,when something of this magnitude takes place society rushes to place a label on it so that by doing so it can be more easily understood.In this case it was immediately branded a hate crime perpetrated by a racist.

But what society,and in particular the media,doesn’t understand is that the root cause of such acts of violence is not born in the bed of racism.

No,racism is but one of many causal factors born out of something much more heinous than racism. Much more damming than hate and bigotry.

SIN

The underlying issue here,the root cause of the “why did this happen” is called SIN.

And it is understandable why SIN is never mentioned in situations like this. For you see we want to,need to,blame someone.

So of course we delve into every detail about the murderer’s life in hopes of uncovering that one detail that will help us make sense of it all.

And that is our undoing. Society today rejects the notion of SIN because to acknowledge that such a thing does exist would be to acknowledge our own SIN,and that just can’t happen,can it?

I mourn with my brothers and sisters who have suffered such needless tragedy and loss at the hands of a young man who by his own volition has thrown his life away.Their pain will never go away.

But let us not forget that racism has been with us as long as hatred,anger,violence,contempt and any other acts of abuse towards others has been around.

They’ve all been right here with us because SIN has been with us. So here’s the real question:

If society cannot fix its problems,and it is obvious it cannot,then what hope do we have?

And the answer is very simple: we have no hope apart from the saving grace of God who sent His only Son to die for our sins.

The government cannot legislate out racism any more than it can eliminate the drug problem.As we pour billions of dollars into one feeble attempt after another to create our own version of utopia on earth,evil marches on unfettered except by the efforts of those committed to a Christlike life.

SIN is a spiritual condition that can only be dealt with at the foot of the Cross. No law or ordinance can destroy it or even hope to control it.

You see, Racism is not our biggest problem.Neither is bigotry or hatred.

The rejection of Jesus Christ however,is.

Ron