“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed … always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10, NKJV).
The scene from Indiana Jones’ movie Raiders of the Lost Ark is a nightmarish scene to someone like me who does not like snakes … PERIOD! Everywhere he looked there were snakes! The fact is he was surrounded by them!
My father-in-law had a similar experience many years ago as a ‘timber man’ in West Virginia. As he was surveying a prospective section of timber to cut, he noticed on the ridge not far from him … movement. When he looked more closely … the ridge was ‘alive’ with copperheads!
Carefully looking around himself, he eased back to his truck. Now, the end of the story is that they ended up cutting timber, but not before having to dynamite the entire ridge! All I can say to that is, “I never was cut out to be a timber man!” You see … this fellow hates snakes!
Where are we going with all of this? Simple! The world we are living in presently is darkening! All we have to do is listen to the news whether it is local or national and it projects scenes of anger, hostility, meanness, insensitivity and open disgust for God and anyone who serves Him.
It can be … and often is the case … that God’s people not only feel outnumbered but surrounded by the enemy that is bent on ridicule and persecution. Morality has taken a back seat to self-indulgence, self-will and self-rule!
Not only has God been removed from the classroom, He is being systematically removed from society … at least that is what society thinks! Those of us who believe in, serve and honor the Lord … know otherwise!
Satan must be pleased with all that is transpiring in the hearts and lives of so many and he would like nothing more than to see God’s people adopt the same philosophies and turn their hearts away from God!
Just as David did … when we take a look around … we need to start looking up! We need to look past all of the distractions of rampant sin, mistreatment, pandemics, and the negative realities of life … and look to and see as David writes near the end of Psalm 10:16, “The Lord is King forever and ever …”
“God is working out His eternal purpose, not only in spite of human and satanic opposition, but by means of them.’ ——- A.W. Pink
Brothers and sisters in Christ … my good friends … we must discipline ourselves to stay focused upon the right things and do as the apostle Paul urged the brethren at Colossi to do, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2).
As individuals who are husbands, wives, parents,
grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends … it is our place to not only have our own faith to believe that our greatest joys should be found in the service of the King … we must teach the next generation and the next generation … do not allow yourself to be squeezed into being like the world around them (Romans 12:2)!
The apostle Paul by inspiration describes for the Corinthian brethren where the power and the glory resides and that is … in the message … not the messenger! We have been entrusted with His saving message as “God’s elect people … His royal priestly people … His own special people … His holy nation!” And that, my friends is the privilege we have then to “proclaim the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). And those in the world generally don’t care about any of this … but there are still some souls out there with “good and honest hearts” who are looking and searching for the truth … and we must demonstrate it in our lives … share it with our words … regardless of the cost!
Our God is great! Our God is good! And one day, all that have and are living in this world will answer to the One true and living God (Romans 1:18). And then “…every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).
Yes … we are surrounded by so much that is evil, wrong and disgusting, but there is One who is greater that assures His people of His presence, love and care! God grant each of us the desire keep our eyes on Him and our hearts focused on His Word!
Bill Fairchild, Jr.