Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Now What? - 3 Ways to Persevere

Water of Life

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse.” Revelation 22:1-3

I’ve heard much despair from folks over the last week about America’s moral, economic, and spiritual condition. What do we do in the face of such despair? Give up?

Certainly not! This country was founded on the premise of perseverance.

So what does perseverance mean to Christians as we move forward?

“Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” Genesis 6:22

Keep building. Noah built the ark while warning those around him of their impending doom. Much like today, folks didn’t want to hear about society’s moral decline. No one listened to Noah, but it didn’t deter him from fulfilling the directive God gave him. Whatever your ministry is, keep working. God has a plan for its success and those touched by your work.

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Keep praying. In order to bring spiritual revival to this nation, believers must stay on their knees. Lift up the President, Congress, and local leaders, whether on city or county councils or school boards. Ask God to soften their hearts toward His message as it relates to both their professional and personal lives. Pray for your fellow citizens that all may “come to a knowledge of the truth.”

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 3:1-2

Keep speaking. Whether your ministry is written or verbal, continue to spread the message God has given you. Our country needs spiritual awakening and not just among the lost. Christians should seek to discern God’s message through prayer and His written word. For those who think the Christian’s character should morph with societal changes, God’s character hasn’t changed from day one. That’s our model. As you read through the Bible, God’s nature is consistent from Genesis to Revelation.

America has been blessed abundantly by God’s mercy and grace. We mustn’t be lulled into complacency and believe there’s no end to His patience for moral and spiritual decline while evil flourishes around us. The great city of Nineveh is a good example that this isn’t so. They repented after Jonah preached to them. God forgave their sin and continued to bless them. Less than two hundred years later, Nineveh returned to its sinful ways, and God destroyed them.

The LORD has given a command concerning you, Nineveh: “You will have no descendants to bear your name. I will destroy the images and idols that are in the temple of your gods. I will prepare your grave, for you are vile.” Nahum 1:14

God kept his word. He always does. And I praise Him that we can count on His consistency.

According to the NIV Student Bible, “The greatest city in the world became a pile of rubble overgrown with grass. Both Alexander the Great and Napoleon camped near it but had no idea a city had ever been there.” (p. 966)

God is a fair and just God, but every nation and individual has a finite number of chances to repent and change their ways.

If you’re one of those in despair, I encourage you to have hope. As believers, we’ve read to the end of The Book. The Story starts and ends the same—in a beautiful garden. What lies in between is the path that leads to God’s mercy and grace.

Regardless of what happens in the immediate or long-range future of this country, God is on His throne. Now, more than ever, perseverance is imperative.


I still believe in your faithfulness
I still believe in your truth
I still believe in your Holy Word
Even when I don’t see
I still believe

A permanent prayer list is above along with updates on Sgt. Jesse McCart, the American soldier we are praying for. If you haven’t done so, would you consider sending him or another soldier a postcard encouraging them? Addresses are listed on the page, also. If you have a prayer need, please list in the comment section below so others can pray, or email me confidential requests. I'd love to hear from you!

Update/New Request:

Courtney, a young mother who has battled a cancerous brain tumor, will have her two-month repeat MRI this month. Her last two MRIs have been clear. She will continue chemo and MRIs for a year.

Pastor Benarji Kumar of True Light Ministry – There has been flooding in his region of India. He’s working to get clean water and supplies to people in great need. His own health hasn’t been good. Pray that God’s hand will be upon him as he ministers to others.

Would you take a moment to offer a word of prayer for these needs?
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I will be launching a new blog in addition to this one on November 26. I will post more information soon about the content and mission of “Count The Costs.”

Shalom,
Laura

© Laura Hodges Poole

Photo courtesy of Microsoft.com free clip art.

10 comments:

  1. I'm excited about your new blog!

    The day after the election God really began speaking to me. I wrote four posts in one day!
    Today was the first day I posted one of them. Each Monday (minus the day before Thanksgiving) I'll be sharing what God has laid on my heart for the Church!

    I'm excited for the things to come. I truly believe the election CAN be the best thing for the Body of Christ...to wake us up and to remember our covenant with God and not the world.

    God bless you!

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    1. Four posts in one day? Wow. Yes, I can see you doing that.:) I'll be sure to get over to your blog and read them. I agree that this can be good for the body of Christ. God will sift the true believers from the ones in name only. In the meantime, we have to be willing to suffer the persecution that will no doubt continue to rise. Being a Christian will only get tougher. God bless you, too.

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    2. Yes, it's definitely going to get tougher. As the pseudo-Christians leave, the Body of Christ is going to have another issue...money.
      People will have to start serving out of love for Christ and others, instead of pay. And/or with tithing down, giving Charity in the community will be harder....BUT this will be another way our faith will stretch and God will show His awesome powers and generosity.

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    3. You could be right about the money. However, many Christians are already tithing time and talent because they're in financial constraints like the rest of the country or they simply are led to. Also, many Christian entities don't have the money to pay for things in the way secular ones do. For example, Christian writers sometimes don't get paid for magazine articles or website work, whereas secular publications have funds to suppport their writers. Christian writers tithe their work because they believe in the mission of the magazine or other publication they're writing for. But I suspect you're right. It will get worse, but God has always provided and always will. (Also, please see Betty's comment below.)

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  2. laura i too am very excited about the new blog. it just felt right when i found out about it. i am also thankful for your short story that will be out soon! i hope and pray God continues to bless you and your hard work. i believe He is truly using you and your talent.

    i also want TC to know that it helps to read comments like hers. i have been so down and depressed over this election but i too had thought that it might just bring many closer to God.

    we Christians must stay in prayer and do more than we ever have for our Lord. i am challenging myself to do more for our Lord than i ever have. i know i have never been able to truly pray for obama but i have started praying for him several times a day and for other leaders as well.


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    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Betty. It means a lot! I have a feeling Christians are going to do a great deal of growing during the next few years. We have to stay in prayer to be able to do His work. And yes, that means praying for those we don't agree with. God bless you.

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  3. Beautiful blog post!! Thanks for inspiring me today.

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    1. You're welcome. I'm glad it helped! God bless you.

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  4. Thanks for this encouragement, Laura. It's a good message for us Canadians as well. Blessings!

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    1. You're welcome, Janet. Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you were encouraged. God bless you.

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