What a delightful time of the year to rejoice in all the Lord has done for us! No longer a baby in a manger but now King of Kings! He came in so silently, so sweetly, so tiny to have such a massive purpose. He gave a divine example of how we can be flesh and bone, and yet carry out a Holy calling. He promised that when we are weak, He will be made strong through our weakness. Even if He hadn’t of come, He would have been qualified to make that statement, but just to make believers out of us, He left His heavenly home, to prove to us that He could live on earth as a Son of God, in order to strengthen our faith that we could also. How can we not be thankful that He has provided a way of escape for us! Not only a way of escape but a direct path to the Father! He is the way, the truth, and the life! He is the door that will lead us into everlasting life. He is the shepherd that will lead us beside the peaceful waters. He is the vine that will strengthen and support us. He is the living water that will nourish our spirits so that we never thirst again. There is nothing else we need to run after to fulfill us because He is what we have always been searching for and in need of. He is awesome and amazing and marvelous!!!
Just like a lot of you, we have been in a season of valleys and mountains. A lot of people complain of plateaus, feeling like they’ve reached a place where nothing’s happening. And then there are those of us, who see a plateau coming, and our heart speeds up as we think we’re about to land and just rest a while. Then all of a sudden it seems like the landing gear isn’t working, and instead of landing, we skid across what we know would have been a beautiful place to just sit and reflect awhile and we slide right over the edge! And our brain is screaming, “Lord, I don’t want to learn anything else right now!” We have to believe that either His grace is sufficient or its not. When you look at the place you’re in, just think “I can do this with hope or without it”; I’d choose hope if I were you. What have you got to lose? J It doesn’t cost a cent to put your hope in God and leave it there. But the benefits, oh the benefits!!! “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagles.” (Psalm 103:1-5) I think that is pretty self explanatory! Those are all good things!
The first sign of mom’s cancer in May of this year was a cough that eventually became so bad it’d keep her up most of the night. She couldn’t rest without coughing. She couldn’t talk without coughing, so much so that we had to resort to mostly texting to communicate. The fits grew worse. It was at an appointment with the cancer doctor either in July or August when again she was asking them wasn’t there anything they could possibly do for the cough and he very matter of factly told her, it would never go away. Due to the progression of the disease, there was simply nothing to be done. I can’t tell you the number of times we prayed for it to stop. We prayed, proclaimed scripture, listened to scripture, and prayed again. After a few months, when she’d cough, I’d mostly ignore it, but mom diligently would pound on her chest and tell that thing to be gone in the name of Jesus. Guess what – mom is not coughing. I don’t know when it actually happened, but she pointed it out to me last week. It’s gone. And her voice is getting stronger. And one day, her feet didn’t even swell. What has it cost her to keep believing in Him? Nothing. What did she have to lose by not proclaiming His promises? Everything. What did she have to gain? Everything! It’s a victory worth shouting about! Mom keeps saying she wants to go see that doctor and show him she’s not coughing! She has a Physician who will never leave nor forsake her, whose promises are Yes and Amen!
Last week I had a dream about the end times, the sky was full of helicopters, people were running in mass, someone started shooting from the ground at the helicopters, and then I woke up. Immediately I heard, “Do not be deceived.”, and that left me wondering…. So it further surprised me when a while later, I opened my bible to read and seen my bookmark was at the 1st chapter of Revelation. It definitely made the dream seem more ominous. We’ve heard about the book of Revelation so much, heard so many end time prophecies, seen so many times past when people thought for sure it was coming, (December 31, 1999, my heart was certainly in my throat as the countdown for midnight took place) that it’s easy to be lulled into this sense that we will never see it in our lifetime. Do not be deceived. Do not be deceived by the overwhelmingly bad news on the television so that you think certainly the sin in the world is winning. Do not be deceived by the looming darkness. Do not be deceived by despair. Do not be deceived into believing for one minute that maybe it’d be easier without God, it won’t be!!! Do not be deceived into thinking that maybe He doesn’t even care. He has a plan.
This has actually been my best reading of the book of Revelation ever! In 5:13 it talks about every creature which is in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that are in them shall be saying, “Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever!” “Every creature in the sea…” Have you seen those shows where the ocean specialists are trying to interrupt the sounds the whales and dolphins are making in the water? They should read the bible! We can tell them! They’re giving praise and honor to the One who created them! Every creature “on earth and under the earth…” I had this image pop into my head of Jesus coming towards the earth in the clouds and every ant on the face of the earth and in the earth stopping in it’s tracks, legs sprawled out in front of it and it’s head touching the earth as they bow to the Lord of Lords and proclaim His glory. The birds will be going crazy all chirping at once, the elephants sounding their trumpets, lions roaring, cows mooing, chickens squawking, frogs croaking, ducks quacking, all of creation sounding off in a glorious symphony, unlike anything we have ever heard before. Can you imagine it?!!! Doesn’t that stir something inside of you! And if that weren’t enough commotion, verse 7:9 “After these things I looked, and behold a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes peoples and tongues, standing before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches on their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” These are only the ones who have come out of the great tribulation, so this isn’t even the total number of the saints who will be worshiping Him! Can you imagine the sound!!! Thank You Jesus for coming so we can be a part of all this! This is our inheritance! This is all part of the package of eternal life.
I know Revelation hardly seems like holiday reading material but if you’re going through any kind of holiday blues, I strongly suggest it. It embodies the persona of a mighty, powerful God who has not left us without remedy. He has a plan that will not fail. Our hope of glory is not a far off fairytale. He is not sitting with His hands tied, wondering how we’re going to get out of this mess. If your situation is so dire you don’t have time to read all the way through, skip right to chapter 20:1-2 “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a 1,000 years and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him…” One angel binds Satan, count them; One! We often give him credit for being more powerful than God, not sure if God can deliver us from his works against us, but ONE angel lassos him with a great chain! But don’t stop there, read chapters 21 and 22, you’ve come this far, you may as well get to the best part! 21:4-7, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write these words for the true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.”
Hold on saints! You are counted among those who are faithful, you are an overcomer, He is your God. He shall wipe away your tears, you shall see no more death, no more sorrow, no crying. He will make all things new for you. He is your Alpha and Omega, your beginning and your end.
Have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year!
Love, Your sister in Jesus,