Posted by: alexhimaya | October 15, 2008

Toubled Times…Call to Action…

I was sent this article by a church member…

Don’t Worry About It — God is in Control
by Jay Stephens

Many of us are watching the events unfold on Wall Street, Iraq, Afghanistan, Washington, D.C., Korea, and other places and feeling very troubled about them.   Over and over again, I’ve heard friends and acquaintances say, “How could this happen to us?” with regards to huge turmoil on Wall Street, escalating national debt, and continued wars on two fronts in the Middle East.   It is almost as if we feel that because we are a “Christian” nation, we should be immune to these kinds of problems…

Yet, with the panic that has ensued in the stock market and the news that many Americans had lost significant portions of their savings, retirement and college funds, one gets the feeling that whatever the final outcomes from these numerous events, nothing will ever be the same again.   Clearly, we are NOT immune to problems — either as individuals or as a nation.  

Economists are saying that a deep recession — perhaps even a depression is in the works.  Despite the bailout package that has been approved and other “bailouts” still being discussed – many financial analysts are quick to point out that while these were important tools to try to help a struggling economy, they are simply postponing the inevitable.  The damage will be a matter of degree, not a matter of “if”.

Can you imagine the poor soul who may have:  i) lost a loved one in the Middle East;  ii)  lost a job due to lay-offs;  iii) lost or in the process of losing their home; and, iv) seen their 401k shrink to a small percentage of what it was, thus erasing hopes of retiring?

Makes you wonder where God is in all this?

The nation of Israel had similar catastrophes in their history.   In reading the Old Testament, it doesn’t take one long to realize that the fortunes of the nation of Israel rose with their dedication to the God of heaven and fell with their neglect and rebellion.   After their rise to the zenith of power and wealth under King Solomon (Solomon’s Temple is the single most expensive building ever constructed.  No other building — even to this time — comes close.  Estimates are that it would cost $195,000 / sq foot to build it today), the nation began a decline to become little more than a 3rd world country as they were wracked with their self-imposed division and idol worship.  Their rejection of the true and living God and His commands eventually led to their deportation into slavery.   Though part of the nation was eventually restored, and God’s plan of bringing the Messiah into the world was brought to fruition, things were never the same. 

Not only does history show that the nation of Israel experienced a downfall coincident with their rejection of God, but many other nations have experienced similar fates.   England, France, Spain, Italy — all were colonial powers  over the last 800 years, but eventually fell from their lofty heights.  All were deeply religious at one point in time, but began to trust in their own wisdom, power and wealth instead of God.  

Clearly, there is a precedence for the turmoil that the United States is experiencing.   

Would anyone argue that America has lost its way spiritually?  Would anyone debate that our moral compass has been broken and pointing in the wrong direction for years?  Is it any wonder that — having driven God out of our lives, our institutions, and our public places, He has chosen to let us “reap what we have sown”? (Gal. 6:7).

Yet, God is right where He always has been:   presiding over the affairs of the Universe.  He is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent.

This is the God that SPOKE the universe into existence and continues to hold it together with the “word of His power” (Gen. 1; Heb. 1:3)

This is the God that KNOWS everything; “His eyes are in every place” (Prov. 15:3); “there is nothing concealed [from Him]” (Ecc. 12:2); He even numbers the hairs on our heads! (Luke 12:7).

This is the God who is EVERYWHERE.  Read Psalm 139 — there is nowhere we can go to flee from Him.



This being the case, we should focus on how we can align ourselves with Him, rather than arrogantly thinking that we can call God down to our rescue as if He were a butler at our beck and call.  Clearly, as individuals and as a nation, we need to engage in repentance and rededication.  Can anyone argue this?  It will involve hard choices and it will involve hardship, because there will be consequences to our national and personal rebellion: “the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son” (Heb. 12:6).  This is the normal and natural order of things.

Above all, we need to put our trust in God, and NOT in our wealth (which can be short-lived – Job 1:21); NOT in our nationality (if God could make children of Abraham from stones  – Matt. 3:9 – we ought not to brag about our nationality); NOT in our military might (God destroyed armies in a single day, i.e., Pharoah – Ex. 15:4 and Sennacherib – 2 Kings 19:35).  If we continue to reject God and attempt to rely on our own wisdom, our downfall is assured.

Let’s take the advice of Jesus — “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and material things.” (Matt. 6:19-24).

Our worry about the events of our day — things we largely cannot do anything about — is misplaced: It won’t add a single hour to our lifespan nor an inch to our stature (Matt. 6:25).  But, if we place our trust in the living God, the lessons we learn over the next few years will be profitable and lasting – in a spiritual and eternal sense.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5)

God is in control.  He is at work.  He is attempting to bring us to our senses.  These events are evidence that He cares.  This is our wake-up call.
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