The month of April has just begun, but a quick glance over the first three months of 2020 reveals ninety days of staggering headlines:
- Wildfires in Australia destroyed millions of acres.
- Iran and the US came very close to declaring war.
- Two members of the British royal family decided to step down from their official duties and left the country.
- The House of Representatives voted to impeach the US President.
- A Ukranian airplane was accidentally shot down in Iran, killing all on board.
- Brexit became official.
- A prominent former NBA player, his daughter and another family were killed in a helicopter crash.
- Locust swarms in East Africa threaten the food security of several nations.
- War, violence, and persecution have resulted in over 70 million displaced people around the world.
- The outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19 has cost tens of thousands of lives and has caused the quarantine of entire nations.
If you watch the daily news, you almost expect to hear the announcer say, “But wait, there’s more…!”
Our God has a reputation for stepping into this type of chaos and sorrow. The Bible is full of examples of men, women, and nations on the brink of ruin who were suddenly introduced to The Deliverer.
- As the earth was swallowed up by floodwaters, Noah and his family were preserved by the Lord’s instructions.
- The Hebrew boys found themselves unharmed as the Fourth Man joined them in Nebuchadnezzar’s angry furnace.
- With a well-timed dinner party, Esther was God’s instrument of victory for the Jews in Persia.
- After singing of God’s faithfulness Jehoshaphat saw three enemy armies slaughter themselves on the battlefield.
- With Pharaoh behind and the Red Sea ahead, Israel watched a highway open in the water, then close again on their pursuers.
- While Hell celebrated and disciples mourned in fear, the Father declared, “Arise, my Love!” and death lost its sting forever.
As we approach Good Friday, we remember that our God is the Master of bringing wonders out of hopeless and terrifying times. This is a theme that repeats over and over in the Scriptures. He turns our wailing into dancing just when it seems we are doomed.
It really bothers our human nature to have to wait and to be powerless to control the situations we find ourselves in. But one thing is sure, we can never take the credit or give the credit to anyone except the Lord when our rescue comes at what seems like the last minute. Human nature is fallen and broken, so we would congratulate ourselves and forget God if He dealt with us any other way.
Isn’t that the lesson we teach our children when we tell them about Gideon? His army was too big, so the Lord reduced Gideon’s troops to a paltry 300 men. There was no way they could defeat the Midianites–unless the Lord God became their shield and defense.
And what about the birth of the Church? Jesus left His followers with a commission to go into the all the world. But who were His ‘frontline’ people? A few women (some had bad reputations), some uneducated and now unemployed fishermen, and a group of people whose names we don’t even know.
The Lord took this unimpressive mix of people to bring the Jewish religious community, pagan Gentiles, and the Roman government (literally) to their knees. And when it looked like persecution would end the Church just as it was being established the scattered disciples, filled with the Holy Spirit, took the Gospel all over the world.
The Church is the Father’s dream. He planned to have a family of sons and daughters before the foundation of the earth was laid. Through all kinds of sin, setbacks, and the sabotage of men and demons, His dream is alive and well! At this moment there are people worshipping Jesus in nations, cities, towns, and villages across the globe. Persecution of Christians is increasing, some governments are hostile to the message of Christ, and division within the Church often spills over into news headlines. But in the middle of this trouble, the Lord is making His glory known to principalities and powers by the Church!
So let your joy be full today! No matter what your read, what you hear, how things look, or even how you feel. For those with confidence in the Lord, difficult times are an indication that He is about to show up in amazing ways that we cannot imagine.
It seemed like a dream
when the Lord brought us back
to the city of Zion.
We celebrated with laughter
and joyful songs.
In foreign nations it was said,
“The Lord has worked miracles
for his people.”
And so we celebrated
because the Lord had indeed
worked miracles for us.
Psalm 126 (CEV)
What are you facing today that is threatening to ruin your family, your health, your finances, or your peace? Do you now see that you are in the envied position of countless people of faith who have gone before you? Look up! Your Deliverer is mighty, and He is coming to save you!