There is so much turbulence and conflict about us in the world today and within our country as well. Few will readily admit it, but it is a great deal of conflict going on also within the Church. This is, resulting in further conflict surrounding many families, marriages, friendships, on the job and in the schools. Quite often many of the unhealthy dynamics simply go unaddressed. Guilt, blame and shame take the forefront. Therefore anxiety levels, anger, resentment, depression, addictions, numerous stress related illnesses and health concerns are on the rise. Due to the increasing awareness of the unfortunate declining economic status within our nation, there has been an overwhelming trickle down global effect on the world at large. There have been strings of layoffs, numerous companies closing, rapidly falling stock prices, decreasing values of 401K’s and other retirement accounts, we are in a “recession”. It has been said that the United States has been consuming more than it produces for years. It has been quoted that just in the last eight years we lost $40 Trillion of our economy. The Washington Times quotes; “Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve and an economic adviser to President Obama, told a congressional committee Wednesday that massive trade-related imbalances in the U.S. economy were the source of the financial crisis that has produced an ugly recession.”
There is a growing concern as to the overall quality of life worldwide. Ongoing wars, terrorists threats and due to global warming, the threat of more hurricanes, famines, floods, earthquakes and more natural disasters are all becoming of a greater concern as well. Broken families, divorces, suicides and escalating crime, all these and more factor into the overall quality of life as we know it. But should we really be surprised? In spite of it all there is still hope! If you are a believer then you must know that the Truth of God’s Word is being affirmed. Jesus has said, “You will hear, of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed, such things must happen, but the end is still to come, Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of many will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” It is so very important to know God’s Word!
God’s Word is so wonderfully amazing! Our attitude and perception have a lot to do with how we cope in any given situation. Conflict is inevitable. The Lord really is, can, and will be a refuge in times like these. Although a growing concern is warranted. God is able! “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.” God’s people should always look to Him, especially when it seems as though the world is coming apart. On many occasions even within His Church the ways of the world have been embraced. But this is nothing new. Things may even get worst before it gets better. There is much spiritual warfare about us. But don’t blame God. Our security and significance must be in Him alone! His weapons are not carnal. One must seek to not compromise His Word. During adversity with balanced faith, families grow stronger, healthy relationships are fortified when the armor of the Lord is embraced. His Word prevails! Just know God will never lead you to do anything contrary to His Word. Man from the very beginning has quite often chosen to disregard what God has said. What we are experiencing is a direct result of those consequences. But remember, “The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof, the world and them that dwell therein…”
Begin to consider looking to God and His principles for the solution to whatever you may be going through. In Him there is always hope! When conflict arises it is so very important to consult Him. More often than not when conflict arises He is the last resort. God has given us various illustrated methods to utilize healthy confrontation. But too often pride is at the forefront and carnal methods are employed instead. I would like to share with you a tidbit from the narrative on Joseph. It is one of the many exhilarating examples you can find in the Bible: There was a “famine” or should I say “recession” in the land? Joseph was favored by the Lord and was also his father’s Israel’s favorite . Joseph had many brothers. “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.”Joseph had several dreams. In one of his dreams, “the sun moon and stars bowed down to him.” His brothers were jealous of Joseph so they plotted together and sold Joseph into slavery, they called him a “dreamer.” They then slaughtered a goat, put the blood on Joseph’s robe, went home, lied and told their father that Joseph had been killed…
While a slave Joseph’s master Potiphar favored him and put him in charge of all he had. His master’s wife tried to seduce him, she in turn lied on him and he was put into prison. While in prison the Lord’s favor was with Joseph. The warden was impressed by Joseph, even here he put him in charge of everything! Joseph was able to interpret dreams. While in prison, many things happened to Joseph… One day, Pharaoh the King of Egypt was troubled and had a dream. Joseph was called; he was able to interpret his dream. The Pharaoh realized that Joseph was wise and discerning. “So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt…”
A great famine came upon the land. Joseph had planned wisely and because of it there was ample food in Egypt. Joseph’s brothers lived in Canaan were there was no food. They were sent to Egypt by their father to buy grain. Guess what? When they arrived in Egypt they had to bow down to Joseph, he was now the governor. God knew way in advance what was going to take place. In spite of all Joseph’s mistreatment and adversity the Lord was still with Joseph… He finally revealed himself to his brothers. “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry for selling me here, because it was to save the lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been a famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But GOD sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance…” (For the details of this amazing narrative, read Genesis 39-47) Look at God!
This is why it is important to “Be Still and know that He is God.” Knowing God and His Word helps us to discern and recognize when something is not of Him. This is why we must daily ask for the infilling presence of His Holy Spirit. God does not have to manipulate, operate undercover, nor utilize false witnesses. God is aware of everything. He is Omniscient! It is very important to know the Lord’s Word for yourself and develop an ongoing, growing, trusting, personal intimate relationship with Him. It is important to learn to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
We must learn to invite God into all areas of our lives. God has a way in which to resolve conflict and confront issues that is quite different from that of the world. Remember He is a SPIRIT of TRUTH! His Word is full of seemingly impossible situations that resulted in a favorable outcome. Many who claim to be Christians continue to embrace very carnal ways to remediate behavior and seek resolutions. Many subscribe to a dual lifestyle one way at home and another way is present before the Church Community. It is important to keep in mind that God is aware of everything. He knows us from the inside out. Many really do not know nor believe that His Holy Spirit really does have Transformation power! He can and is more than able to bring about a true Metamorphosis in your life. Praise God!
Jesus Christ came so that we might live differently. Throughout His Word you will find all sorts of situations that are profoundly unfathomable. Yet He saw and will see His people through. There is a wealth of wisdom found in the Word of God that is priceless. The Pharisees was the established religious order that sought to discredit Jesus. They were intimidated by Him because He did not adhere to their legalistic practices. Spiritually they were blind. They too wanted to continue to resolve things their own way. Jesus was a living example as to what one can expect when you truly dedicate your life to Him! God knew way back then what would be going on now. “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies: nothing you can desire can compare with her…”
Some things just will not be understood on this side of heaven. From the very beginning God had a plan for our lives. God is so gracious, loving, kind and patient. Few know what it truly means to love. God is love. Can you really love without knowing Him? He sent His only begotten Son so we could be redeemed from the power of sin. We have been given an Eternal Comforter an Internal Teacher! Even in the midst of all the turmoil that is about us His plan is still the same. If you are burdened down by the pressures and stressors of life, I have some “Good News” for you. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). God may not remove every burden, every difficult person or situation in your life, but you can find comfort in His Word. It is important to know His Promises! I assure you, He will and does keep all His Promises! Even in these difficult days, His Word will be “A lamp unto your feet and a Light unto your path. I have sworn and I will keep your righteous judgments…” To GOD be the GLORY!