Encouragement for 2019

The Next Chapter

Good morning,

On a recent trip, I noticed how the sun was shining at 10,000’ while all below it was gray clouds and blustery winds. It is hard to believe but, the sun never stops shining, its lights never go out and it always shines with the same intensity. The earth, though, rotates on tilted access; so, we get the changes in seasons. For the past month now, the nation has endured the longest stretches of cold and snowy weather not to mention the extended number of gray days. In this time, it has been very hard on me because, I never do well when the sun doesn’t shine; the medical term is, “Seasonal Effectiveness Disorder” (SAD). In these days, it is easy for me to become depressed just as it is when the rain clouds fill the sky for days on end. What I have to remind myself is, “the winter will pass, and spring will come eventually”.

In the same way, the world’s sinful ways press hard against people to conform to its pathway or be the recipient of hateful terms like racist, homophobe, and xenophobe. In these days, it is very hard not to feel, “this is the new normal” and forget the promises of God or the grace he has bestowed on us. In the time of Elijah, the evil king Ahab and the tyrant queen Jezebel ruled Israel with an iron fist. Anyone who did not fall in line with Jezebel was put to death by the worst means possible. Remember, Elijah had just killed all of the priests of Baal, convinced the spectators of the power of the Almighty God, called down rain, and ran a from the mountain of God to the gates of the city; one word from Jezebel sent Elijah running for his life.  At the mountain top, Elijah’s word to God was, “I am all alone and I want to die”. After God relented and granted Elijah’s request, it was what he said next that should have sparked a change of heart; that, was “I have still reserved 7,000 men of God who have not bowed a knee to Baal, go anoint Elisha son of Shaphat in your place and, anoint the Jehu king over Israel (1 Kings 18). in doing so, God was setting the stage for the next chapter; something he wanted Elijah to be part of, but Elijah had refused. In the end, Ahab would die from a battle wound, Jezebel was would be assassinated and then reduced to mere bones. What I want to get across to you, is that although the sins of this world appear bigger than life, they all have a shelf life and will go the way of the Edsel, Zoot suits, and lava lamps; only God is from all eternity. My encouragement for you today is to grasp hold of the hand of God and never let go. When life appears the most dismal know this, you are one step from victory.

“O Babylon, the unconquered, come sit in the dust; for your days of glory, pomp, and honor are ended. O daughter of Chaldea, never again will you be the lovely princess, tender and delicate.  Take heavy millstones and grind the corn; remove your veil;[a] strip off your robe; expose yourself to public view.  You shall be in nakedness and shame. I will take vengeance upon you and will not repent (Isaiah 47:1-3 TLB).”

Father,

All the ways of the world no matter how dark, depressing, or oppressing they may be, will end. Only you are from all eternity. The enemy of our soul tells the foolish man, “this is what you need to do” and man does it. He has convinced the foolish man that he is a “god” knowing all the while how very short man’s life really is. Lord Jesus how we need you in our life as we face the next chapter of our life. May your good spirit guide us today in the pathway laid before us.

Mike

All of my writings can be found at http://www.mikesencouragement.net

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