Saturday, November 7, 2015

is peace just a "Christmas card thing?"





I was working with my nephew the other day, homeschooling him in History. As we read about the civilizations of the Middle Ages, I paused and asked him, "do you see how their errors then lead to the downfall of life as they knew it?" He replied that he did. I then asked, "do you see this happening today?" He gave it a moment's thought and said, "we're doomed!"
Wow...he sees it...and he is only (almost) 16!
What a world we are leaving for his generation, eh?

The nightly news is full of shock and awe...but you know, shock and awe has been going on since way back when Cain beat up on and killed his brother, Abel due to jealousy.

Wars are being fought now as they always have been, for greed, for power, for control. Countries that once were peaceful have been torn asunder out of the need for control. Refugees cross the borders into other countries that are already burgeoning under the weight of too many immigrants already...and more fights break out for daily necessities...it is an ongoing pattern.

We see and hear about these things and we do not understand why, why, why...with all of the technology and ability to blow our world up with a single nuclear bomb, why we cannot get along at all.

It seems to be hopeless, this whole "peace on earth" thing, doesn't it? With Christmas rapidly approaching, we once again will pull out Christmas cards with pleasant pictures, whose inscriptions promise us peace on earth which we can have, all due to the birth of a tiny Child.

Do you believe that?
I do.

I place my belief in One who can create miracles out of nothing! Who can heal, who can turn water into wine and feed thousands from a few loaves and fishes! I believe in His strength and promises!

Last week, someone questioned me about that belief. You see, he didn't believe. He posed the statement that if there was "a God," then why is there so much pain, why can't God just make everything all better? Thus he tried to prove his own convictions that what I was saying was just a waste of time.

Despite my explanations, he remained unmoved. I then conceded with the words that Faith needs no explanation, because you either have Faith and believe, and if you don't...no amount of explanation could change that. I bid him well, as I said I also believe in "live and let live." I didn't wish him harm. You just never know...perhaps it wasn't MY mission to convince him....perhaps that would happen on another day in another time...(hopefully time will be on his side).

What we CAN do...you and I, is to create peace where WE go. You want that Christmas card sentiment to come true? What are YOU doing to create peace and happiness? It isn't just writing a check and putting it in an envelope, it's getting in the trenches and being with those who are in need...of friendship...of love...of someone being at their side in a non-judgmental way. Oh sure, I could have gotten into an argument about Jesus with that person...but then that wouldn't prove my point, now would it? We need to foster our beliefs by words AND deeds...by thoughts AND actions!
You've seen the homeless...what is your attitude about them? Do you shake your head and walk away or do you offer assistance, even if it is only a cup of coffee in a warm place? The hungry....how about offering a bag of groceries to the local food shelf? An alcoholic....instead of condemning them, realize that for many of them, each day can be a living hell as they try to function in a life where people won't tolerate their misbehavior. The list is endless and by now, you're exhausted.
Peace on earth....it isn't just a "Christmas card thing." It is a YOU thing...it is a ME thing...it is an EVERY DAY of our life thing!

"Right now, you and I may be subjects of discussion between God and Satan, just as Job was. Or we may be part of conversations between God and righteous angels, or between angels and redeemed people in Heaven. You may lie in a rest home or a hospital or sit alone in your house. But you’re not alone—an unseen universe is watching. You may feel your choices have been reduced to whether you want Jell-O or a window opened or an extra blanket. On the contrary, your choice of whether you will trust God and worship him today reverberates throughout the universe, honoring or dishonoring your God. It also has enormous implications for the eternal rewards God promises us in the next life.

"Like Job, we look around us and see suffering and evil we do not understand. As Job did in the end, Lord, may we see you now as you truly are, as revealed in your Word, and trust you to accomplish your purposes even when life doesn’t make sense to us. Thank you for your sovereign grace in my life, drawing me to yourself even as I grew up in an unbelieving home. I look back now at many difficulties in my life and clearly see your hand. I pray you’ll give everyone reading this the ability to see how you have worked in their lives in the past. Give them the faith to see you at work today and the capacity to fully trust you for their future."
~Randy Alcorn, Ninety Days of God's Goodness: Daily Reflections That Shine Light on Personal Darkness