Friday, 24 July 2015

Where now is your God?

I see so many speaking of triumph and yet living as thought the battle was done and the victory of Jesus, the Christ, is denied; whilst elsewhere believers, living in the lack of luxury and striving in the absence of the divine presence, struggle to maintain their faith.

Those around them laugh and cry out to them, 'So tell me, where now is your God?' They stand and mock like characters taken from the accounts of the Old Testament and as they do the faithful dance like a town drunk from a black and white Western film  - their hope and desire not whisky but blessing. Arms and voices raised and hearts sunk into the mire of despair.

The queue for the latest offering of the latest in vogue snake oil preacher lengthens as hungry people grasp at even the hope of a crumb of blessing, not realising how many street corners they passed on the way to the auditorium; each one graced by the presence of the Almighty and each crying out for an encounter and blessing.

Meanwhile, a still and almost imperceptible voice is heard reminding us that in the last days:

'scoffers will come following their own sinful desires asking of us: “Where is the promise of his coming? For though your heroes have long since gone not one thing has changed from the beginning of time."  But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation ... You therefore, beloved, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day when eternity comes.'

The words of 2 Peter 3, as with so many others from the big black books we love to carry and so often fail to read, are before us and encouraging us on.

Today, whatever your need, whatever your situation and whatever pain surrounds you: take heart and look to the cross of Christ and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. Take a moment in the relative calm of the weekend (or whenever you can) and think about the silent, still and holy places where you can commune with God and connect with the creator; and as you do, bring before Him the needs of our broken world.

As your fingers touch, remember those like the man I met today who awaits the results of a biopsy and dreads the news that might come and the awesome power that the third letter of the alphabet has been given!

As the presence of God bathes you in peace, remember people like the woman I spoke with today whose home is at risk because redundancy has bitten and the prospect of new employment is but a distant hope.

As the sounds around you diminish, take a moment to think of those who are heading towards the Exit of this life - those who this week have been bereaved and those who remain. Give thanks for those you have around you and rejoice in the joy that family is (and think of the homeless and the lonely who have no one).

To find the Lord takes but the desire to stop and encounter Him - don't be too busy to make this your reality - maintain your stability by placing your feet on the rock and your eyes on the cross of Christ.


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