All posts by Wisdom Hunter

Husband, father and grandfather, lover of Jesus, worshipper, intercessor, wisdom seeker, tech support guy, mentor, spiritual dad

Fighting the Real Enemy

The friendly snowman in my photo reminds us all to “Stay Safe”.  This has become one of the mantras of our time. For many, the COVID-19 virus is the lurking enemy of their nightmares, exposure to the virus is their worst fear, and a vaccine has become their only hope of salvation.

One of the devil’s classic strategies for keeping humans locked into a cycle of endless strife is to get them fighting the wrong enemy. In the early years of our marriage, Marion and I had our share of marital discord. For a time there seemed to be no way out of this cycle. Thankfully, those years are long gone. We have learned to live in harmony with each other.

One of the keys to peace was the insight that our marriage partner was not the real enemy.  It was our own pride, selfishness and self-will that lay at the root of almost every conflict.

I don’t want to get COVID-19 any more than you do. But I am more concerned about the impact of fear-dominated thinking than about the impact of the virus itself.

No-one wants to suffer needlessly. Avoidance of suffering is a basic survival instinct, and the fear of suffering and death holds great power for many. Yet the New Testament depicts this fear as a form of slavery, and holds out for us the prospect of a life that is no longer ruled by this fear. Jesus willingly entered into suffering to set humanity free.  He overcame the fear of death by looking to the One who could save him from death.

Many see Jesus as an inspiring example. But are we willing not only to admire him but to embrace the cross as He did? His counsel to us who still battle the fear of suffering and death is simple. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for My sake, you will save it.

If we make it our highest goal to save our own life – to stay safe, to avoid pain, to avoid all risk, to somehow escape suffering and death- then there truly is no hope for us. That way is a dead end. We will have a miserable, self-focused, love-starved, fear-addicted life and die defeated, without hope. In the end we will lose our life and inherit eternal death.

If we want to live a life worth living, we must honestly reckon with our fear of death and then overcome that fear by entrusting our lives to the One who overcame death for us. Jesus, the Prince of Life, gives us the power to live by a different standard. Through Him we can overcome our fears, live in hope and continue to walk in love, choosing to serve others and hold out His light in the midst of the gathering darkness of this age.

I don’t especially want to get COVID-19, or pass it on to others. But I have a greater fear than the fear of getting COVID. I don’t want to waste my life. So I will take reasonable precautions to avoid getting sick, but my main focus will be on loving and serving the Lord, and loving and serving others in His name. That’s the only way to live a life that’s worth living – a life ruled by love, not fear – and stay safe for eternity.  It’s the only safety that really counts.

Stay safe – stay close to Jesus.

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Outlasting the Blues

As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, and Ontario enters its second full lockdown, with new government directives that leave many questions unanswered, all of us are getting a little battle-weary. Couple this with the political turmoil south of the border and you have more than enough discouragement to fatigue even the most stalwart soul.

When we are in the midst of a battle, one important key to victory is perspective. If we can see the enemy and the battleground, we can fight much more effectively. This morning as I was waking up, a dream fragment told me my God was trying to get my attention. With three simple words He gave me that precious gift of renewed perspective. The words came from a 1979 Arlo Guthrie album title – one I used to love but had not listened to for years.

Outlasting the Blues.

I had been asking the Lord to help me understand why we seem so powerless against this pandemic. Didn’t he bestow upon His apostles the gift of the Holy Spirit, including the power to heal diseases?

He patiently reminded me that the gifts of the Holy Spirit don’t guarantee that we will have no more troubles in this age. To the contrary, Jesus made it clear to His apostles that in this world they would have trouble.  In the midst of troubled times, times of great need, the presence and power of the Holy Spirit is a great blessing and source of comfort. But the gifts He gives are signs of the Age to Come – a deposit on our inheritance. They are given to empower us, to give us hope and resources with which we can help others.  They are not given to exempt us from trouble.

We who live in North America have been so used to relative peace and prosperity that we have developed an entire theology to tell us that what God really wants for us is a comfortable life here and now.  I like my comforts as much as the next person, but I know my Bible and my God well enough to know there’s something wrong with that theology. And I know it even better now than I did before COVID.

We are in a time when God is shaking many things. We are experiencing birth pangs. There will be more birth pangs. I have never given birth, but I did accompany my wife through the birth of all four of our children, and  all her labours were long ones. Even the shortest was about ten hours long. I can tell you two things about that experience. First, it was hard and long and painful and messy, and she wanted it to be over long before it was.  Second, after each child was born she had absolutely no regrets about the experience. It had all been worth the struggle.

The Bible tells us that God’s plan is to make all things new. He is preparing a glorious bride for his Son, and looking for those who will persevere in prayer and faith, hold on to hope, and seek to grow in love as they wait for God to finish his work.

I don’t want to just escape into distractions while I wait for the pandemic to be over. That would be a waste of a good test. Tests are given for a reason. I want to be one of the ones who don’t quit, who keep their eyes on the prize and share in the glories of the new heaven and earth in the age to come.

By the grace of God I am determined to outlast the blues. How about you?

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Staying the Course in 2021

In a few hours, the year 2020 will be behind us, and we will have entered a new year.

Many are hoping for some relief from the COVID-19 pandemic, and longing for respite from trouble and hardships of all kinds.

It’s natural for us to hope for good things at the start of a year. I look for this as much as anyone else does. But my prophetic intuition coupled with my understanding of Scripture tells me that while there may be some respite in 2021, we are headed for increasing turmoil in the years to come, as the end of the age draws near.

When I was a boy of fourteen, I had the privilege of sailing with my uncle and my two cousins on an oceangoing boat off the coast of the Netherlands. It was an unforgettable experience. I loved it so much that on my return to Canada I bought my own little sailboat with the proceeds of my paper route, and for the next several summers I sailed it on the lake at the family cottage.

I learned that when you are sailing in rough weather, a key to success is to keep a steady course. I learned not to fear the wind and waves, but to lean into the wind and leverage its power to propel my boat forward.

This is what I believe people of faith need to do when faced with stormy weather in life.  The storms we face don’t define us, but they do give us an opportunity to exercise faith. We can persevere through the storm and get to the other side if we know where we are headed and who is the true Captain of our boat.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

~ Paul the Apostle (1 Corinthians 15:58, NIV)

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Stay steady and win the prize

Last night Marion and I watched a movie about Philippe Petit, who famously walked a tightrope between the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center in 1974.

I was struck by his courage but also the extensiveness of his preparation for this feat. You don’t accomplish a feat like this without both attributes. Further, I noticed that he was completely convinced he could do this. He had faith – not in God but in his own ability. The pressure of maintaining this faith almost drove him mad because he was relying on himself and not on God. Still, he persevered and accomplished what he called his “coup”.

Petit said that he did this not only for the sake of the feat itself but also for the glory that would be his as a result.

To walk a tightrope you do need preparation, training, courage and faith. You also need incredibly good balance.

This morning I awoke from a dream about the Bride of Christ. The nations of the earth are being shaken in the time we are in, and the Bride of Christ is being shaken.

Although Jesus is called our Bridegroom in Scripture, and we are called his bride, the wedding is still to come. We are Jesus’ betrothed, but only those who stay steady through the shaking will get the prize.

The shakings are part of our preparation for glory. Many of us waver at times. We might even stumble and lose our balance momentarily. If we steady ourselves and get up again, we will make it. If we lose our grip and forget our hope in these moments, we will fall to our destruction.

As I was waking up from this dream the Lord also told me to get up and eat something sweet. I asked him, if I am being given this message about shaking, shouldn’t I be fasting and praying? He said no, get up and eat something sweet. So I did. As I did this I realized that God was saying that in the midst of shakings He sustains His people with the sweetness of His presence. We don’t have to maintain our balance and our courage by sheer force of will, as Philippe Petit did in his classic tightrope walk. We do need to fix our will on the prize, but we can abide in the sweet presence of the Lord. He steadies us so that we can finish our walk.

If you are going through difficult times know that you are not alone. The Holy One has his eye on you. Philippe Petit also had a team of people who believed in him and were cheering him on. We have a team as well. We need the Body of Christ to cheer us on to success. Even more than that – especially in those moments when we feel completely alone – we need to remind ourselves that the eyes of the Lord are on those who have put their hope in Him.

Yesterday evening was the beginning of the Biblical Feast of Tabernacles. This feast celebrates the abiding presence of the Lord with Israel as they were crossing the wilderness, when they lived in temporary shelters. For believers in Jesus it also signifies the beautiful, sweet reality of the indwelling Holy Spirit who refreshes us, renews us and empowers us to finish our race with joy. The Holy Spirit is given to us as a deposit or first installment on our  inheritance. Those who persevere in faith are destined to inherit an eternal kingdom that cannot be shaken.

If your life sometimes feels like a tightrope walk between two towers, fix your eyes on Jesus and let Him steady you. You will get to the other side. Eternal glory awaits you.

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Nuggets of Hope 29 – Living Flame of Love

We live in troubled times. As if the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t present enough of a challenge, the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer has placed a spotlight on the reality of white privilege and the pain of the black community. Meanwhile, anti-Semitism is once again rearing its ugly head. A Montreal synagogue was recently torched, and fully 20% of Britons surveyed blame a Jewish conspiracy for COVID-19. And this is only a partial list.

In the midst of all this turmoil comes the Biblical feast of Pentecost (Shavuot in Hebrew), celebrated by Christians today and by Jews three days earlier. Originally a harvest festival, Shavuot was one of three festivals (the others being Tabernacles and Passover) for which Jews were expected to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

The Book of Acts records that after Jesus had ascended into heaven ten days earlier, the community of about 120 disciples had gathered and were holding an extended prayer meeting. Meanwhile the city was filling up with Jewish pilgrims who had come from various places in the Roman empire to celebrate Shavuot. On the feast day, as the apostles were praying – probably on a rooftop terrace – the Holy Spirit was poured out in power, a crowd gathered because they heard God being praised and proclaimed in their various languages, the apostle Simon Peter preached a bold and powerful message, and three thousand Jews turned from their sins on that day, received Jesus as Messiah, and joined the community of His followers. While a nucleus stayed in Jerusalem, many of the pilgrims would have eventually returned to their homes, taking the new faith with them.

The new community of disciples was marked by several powerful features. They were full of joy by the power of the Holy Spirit. They stood in awe of God’s power and holiness. They lived together, shared their goods, walked in humility, loved their enemies and prayed for those who opposed them. Miracles of healing were common. Before long, persecution began to flare up as the new faith was a challenge to the established order.  Yet many were drawn to the new faith because of the undeniable sense that God was with these lovers of Jesus.

Two millennia have passed since those early days. The new movement, which began as a persecuted minority among Jews, soon spread to Gentiles as well and after a couple of generations had rejected its Jewish origins as it began to penetrate Roman society. Within three centuries, the church had become an established institution, supported by the state. Its history is a mixture of good and evil. The list of wrongs perpetrated in the name of Christ is too long for this blog. Yet many of the best features of our Western society are also directly attributed by secular historians to the influence of Christianity. By God’s grace, the same Holy Spirit who fell on the eagerly waiting fellowship on that first Pentecost has continued to bring repentance and renewal, and the number of those who truly love Jesus and His ways, and seek to follow Him in sincerity, has continued to grow.

In these troubled times, when many things are being shaken and stripped away, I believe it’s time for God’s people to return to basics – to our first love. The Holy Spirit was given to empower His people to proclaim the good news. He has given us many gifts of power. But His first assignment – His very nature – is to draw our attention to Jesus himself. I’m very grateful for the gifts of the Spirit. But I am even more grateful that He gives us the power to grow in love for Jesus and His ways. He is the living flame of God’s love, poured into our hearts. Whatever good we do – whether preaching the gospel, giving to the poor or caring for the sick – it counts for nothing with God unless it springs from love. But consistent love for God and His ways – which Jesus called the first commandment – is the one thing we are incapable of without the power of the Spirit. I can’t even love my own wife consistently without His help. We need the Holy Spirit.

In these times of growing turmoil and trouble, it’s increasingly evident that no-one has a solution to the challenges we are facing. There is only one leader capable of bringing peace, justice and healing to the earth – King Jesus, the crucified and risen Messiah, who will bring in His Kingdom when He returns. But He has given His people a deposit on our inheritance – the blessed Holy Spirit. In the chaos of our times – in the midst of adversity, when everything within us is crying out to God to change our circumstances – the Spirit empowers us to love and choose the Lamb and His ways. He is coming for a people who have learned to persevere and grow in love. In the end, that is how we will be evaluated.

Come, Holy Spirit.

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Nuggets of Hope 28 – Gotta Serve Somebody

In 1979, Bob Dylan surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. References to the Bible, Jesus, and God’s Kingdom began to appear in his concerts. His conversion was marked with a new freshness in his music and the release of a new album, Slow Train Coming. The track “Gotta Serve Somebody” became Dylan’s first hit in three years.

I had not been a huge fan of Dylan up to this point, but I loved this album and this song. It was hard-hitting, fresh, and focussed, with this repetitive, driving refrain :

It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, even with the partial lifting of lockdown restrictions, everybody’s life is affected. Whatever the details of our circumstances, we can easily become slaves to the pandemic. It can start to dominate our thinking.

I have found that to navigate these times, I need to step back, get perspective, and remind myself of who I am and where I am going. The COVID-19 pandemic is a circumstance that I cannot control, but I can choose how I am going to look at life. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I do not live without hope, direction or focus. I have a purpose. I am living for the Kingdom of God.

This morning I started my day with a walk around my neighbourhood. I prayed the ancient words of the Lord’s Prayer. I asked the Father to show me what it would mean for His name to be hallowed in my life. I prayed for His Kingdom to come on earth. I prayed for my neighbours and myself to hunger and thirst for His righteous rule in our lives. I thanked God for His daily provision, His forgiveness and His deliverance from evil.

I wasn’t made to live for myself. I was created to belong to the One who made me. I have been redeemed – set free at a high cost – so that I might serve Him and give Him glory with my life. In fact, living for yourself is an illusion – a costly mirage that leads to sorrow, emptiness, death and eternal loss. As Dylan wrote back in 1979,

It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

Over many years of learning to follow Jesus, I have found that living as His servant and friend has given me a liberty that I did not have when I was trying to set my own direction and have my own way.

If you already know what I am talking about, let me encourage you to remember the Lord and reset your focus on Him today and every day. If you don’t know the freedom of belonging to Jesus, but want to talk about it, leave me a comment and I’ll contact you.

God bless you.

 

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Nuggets of Hope 27 – Are you listening?

PSSST … 

Hey you. I have some things to tell you. Secrets. Things that can help you.  Are you listening? This is really important.

God. 

This is a time of many opinions, much commentary, many unknowns and uncertainties, many claims and counter-claims, much fear and anxiety, much suspicion and accusation, much unrest and contention.

In the storm of words, it is a great gift to be able to quiet one’s thoughts by giving our attention to the Holy One.

Before I was born again, I could not do this. I was a young United Church pastor – attempting to be a shepherd to others although I did not yet really know the Good Shepherd. I was driven and anxious much of the time. I wanted peace – wanted it desperately – but I could not think my way into it.

I found that the way to peace was through surrender of my will to Jesus Christ and baptism with the Holy Spirit. Right away my life became much simpler as I no longer felt compelled to solve every problem or come up with a solution for every situation. There was such freedom in not being responsible for everything.

I am very grateful for those who trained me, early on in my walk with Christ, in learning to listen to the quiet whisper of Holy Spirit speaking to my spirit.

Nowadays, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am finding that to stay healthy I need to practice a few simple disciplines.  Physical exercise, prayer, Scripture, work, rest.

One of the most important is to pay more attention to the voice of the Lord than to the voice of man.

From the time I was a young child I always wanted to know what was true and what was false. I also have a strong sense of justice and hate to see lies and wrongs prevail. These are good qualities but I have found that in order to stay in God’s peace – which is the place of order and productivity and fruitfulness and life and hope – I need to discipline myself to listen to His voice in preference to all the other voices. When I forget this, even for a short time, I pay a price. When I remember it, peace returns and I am able to see clearly again because I have heard the voice of the One who is True.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Jesus, John 10:10

My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways …
as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God, Isaiah 55:8-9

The Lord knows the thoughts of man,
That they are a mere breath.
Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O Lord,
And whom You teach out of Your law;
That You may grant him relief from the days of adversity,
Until a pit is dug for the wicked.
Psalm 94:11-13

The Holy Spirit is such a blessing to me. In an instant He can cut through the confusion of human voices and give me His perspective. He doesn’t answer all my questions but He directs my attention to the one thing that I need to pay attention to in that moment. This brings rest to my thoughts and keeps me stable, focussed and productive.

One of my favourite Psalms speaks of the secret counsel of the Lord which is available only to those who fear Him. It is like the counsel that one gives to a trusted friend. I need that secret counsel on a daily basis, to guide my life, to show me His ways and keep me from trouble.

I daresay you need that daily counsel of the Lord as much as I do.

Are you listening?

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Nuggets of Hope 26 – Crossing the Desert

How did Moses endure for forty years? How come he didn’t quit? How did he stay motivated?

His assignment was to lead Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land. This should have taken only a few weeks. Moses, however, was leading a people that had gotten used to slavery. They didn’t like the hardships of their lot in Egypt, but they didn’t like crossing the desert either. God had gotten them across the Red Sea, but they quickly forgot about His past faithfulness when a new problem arose. They rebelled against Moses’ leadership time and again. In the end it took them forty years to get to the Promised Land. An entire generation died in the wilderness.

When I read the account of Moses’ dealings with them, I am amazed at his perseverance. What an assignment!

I was thinking about this today because – like almost everyone who’s been enduring two months of COVID-19 self-isolation punctuated by a constant barrage of fear-laced news and commentary – I’m finding that it’s starting to get old. I’m missing my kids and grandkids. It’s like a physical ache. I’m missing being able to go out and do things with other people. Every day I make the choice to set my eyes on the Lord. I do my workouts, take time to pray, do my work, prepare and lead Bible studies, write blogs, go for my bike rides, and remind myself that this is temporary. But I’m still finding it long. I believe God has a purpose in this test – I’ve told many people that. But in my weakness, there’s a part of me that just wants this to be done. And it’s only been two months! Imagine forty years!

How did Moses do it?

I found an answer in the Letter to the Hebrews. This fascinating and faithbuilding letter was originally written to encourage and strengthen Jews who had accepted Jesus as their Messiah, and were tempted to quit in the face of stiff opposition. There, we find this compelling assessment of the source of Moses’ stamina.

By faith [Moses] left Egypt,
not being afraid of the anger of the king,
for he endured as seeing him who is invisible
.
Hebrews 11:27

Two things stand out from this statement.

First, Moses endured because of his faith.

He believed that God exists, and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. In that belief, he found the courage to face down Pharaoh – not once, but multiple times. In that belief, he found courage to lead his people out of Egypt. In that belief, he persevered for forty years.

Second, Moses endured because he had seen God’s beauty.

His faith was not a raw, naked conviction forged out of strength of will alone. That was the kind of leader Moses had been as a young man, when in his rage he killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew. But forty years in the wilderness, tending sheep, had changed him. An encounter with God in a burning bush changed him even more. Moses saw the One who can be seen only when God unveils our eyes, and he was humbled. He endured as seeing the One who is invisible.

Moses was desperately hungry for the glory of God. He eagerly sought the presence of God, and used to go to meet with God in a tent outside the camp. When Moses came out of the tent, his face shone so brightly with the glory of God that he covered it. Because of human impurity and sin, the brightness of God’s presence could not be seen on a permanent basis.

I’ve known people whose faces shine when they worship God. I want to be like that. I want to have a shining face. When Jesus died, the curtain of the temple was torn and access to the Holy Place – the presence of God – was opened. The Apostle Paul declares that as we turn to Jesus, the veil is removed, and we are changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another.  I want that.

Moses didn’t make it to the Promised Land. Some believe this means God had rejected him. He was disciplined, but he wasn’t rejected. On the Mountain of Transfiguration, Jesus met with Moses and Elijah in a foretaste of his resurrection glory. They spoke of the things to come, and their faces shone with heavenly light.

These are the realities that keep me going. These are the realities that keep me motivated to press on and endure as I journey across the wilderness of this age. I find that I have to daily remind myself of these things. It’s easy to get dragged down by circumstances that seem hard to us. It’s good to remind ourselves of where we are headed. We are headed for the glory of God. I am so thankful that even now, in the darkness of this age and in the adversities of this life, He allows us – and even invites us – to feed on a measure of His glory.

Will you press on with me?

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Nuggets of Hope 25 – Jesus in your boat

The boat pictured here is a replica of an ancient fishing vessel whose remains were discovered by a couple of amateur archaeologists in the Galilee region in 1986.  It’s thought to be much like the type of boat that Jesus and his disciples would have used.  It’s a sizable craft, capable of being either sailed or rowed.

Among Jesus’ disciples were several seasoned fisherman, familiar with the Galilee waters. Still, on more than one occasion the gospel narratives relate that they ran into trouble with high winds and waves. One evening, after a busy day spent helping Jesus meet the needs of a crowd of over 5000 people, they set off to cross the lake in a boat much like this one, while Jesus went off for some solitary prayer in the hills surrounding the lake.

This wasn’t just a pleasure jaunt for the guys in the boat. The boss had told them to meet him on the other side of the lake, and they were doing their best to follow his instructions. But they were having a rough go. The wind was against them and they weren’t making much headway.

Quite possibly they were having conversations something like this.

Can this trip really be God’s will? Maybe we didn’t hear him right. Jesus can’t want us to be having all this trouble, can he? I thought he cared about us. Maybe we shouldn’t even be doing this. I think this whole adventure was a bad idea. I’m not sure how much longer I can go on.

As if all this wasn’t enough, the next thing they knew, they had another problem – a really big one. The high winds and waves were a problem, but at least they were a familiar problem. They knew what to do about winds and waves. But then things got really scary.  They thought they saw a ghost.

We’ve all had moments like those. We’re already beyond exhausted – at the end of our rope – but at least we have a plan and we know what we are dealing with. Then things just go to a whole other level and we have no idea what to do next.

What a relief to hear Jesus’ voice. “It is I. Do not be afraid.” The gospel of John records that when they heard his voice, they realized who it was, and let him into the boat; and immediately (as it seemed to them) they reached the other side.

The journey through life can feel like a tough assignment sometimes. As if our pre-COVID life weren’t challenging enough, the pandemic confronts us with questions to which nobody really knows the answers. Are we going to make it to the other side? What will “the other side” even look like? Where are we headed? Will life ever be normal again?

Here’s a different question. Do you have Jesus in your boat?

If you do, all the other questions might still be there, but suddenly everything looks different. Jesus is master of the situation. He knows the way through. Breathe deeply. You are going to be OK. You don’t have to be afraid.

The Apostle John, looking back on this event many years later, summarizes their feelings this way: Then they were glad to take him into the boat. 

What about you? Is Jesus in your boat?

 

 

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Nuggets of Hope 24 – The King’s Beauty

This morning I began my day with a walk to see the horses in the field at the end of our crescent. Although the weather forecast tells me a blast of winter is coming, this morning I can still taste, see and feel the glory of spring. It speaks to me of the Creator’s great wisdom.

The Biblical storyline tells us what young children often intuitively understand – we were made by a good Creator. Our lives come from His hand. The beauty and complexity of creation testifies to His goodness and power. He made humans for intimate fellowship with Himself.

That storyline goes on to tell us that a rebellious angel tempted our first parents to choose independence, and ever since there has been a curse on creation. But even when the curse was first pronounced, Eve was promised that her offspring would one day crush the serpent’s head. That offspring is Yeshua, who was, who is and who is to come. He came once to announce the coming Kingdom in words and deeds of great power, and to offer his life as a sacrifice for sins. He is coming again to restore all things.

Some ask why a good God would permit terrible things like the coronavirus to occur. There are many ways of answering that question, but anyone who has been paying attention to the message of the Kingdom shouldn’t be surprised. We know from Scripture that many things will be shaken before Jesus returns to bring in the Kingdom that cannot be shaken. We are currently experiencing one of those times of shaking.

Near the beginning of COVID-19 lockdowns, Marion and I watched a movie about World War II. It reminded me of my parents. They were 22 and 18 respectively when the Netherlands was invaded by the Wehrmacht in May 1940. They lived in an occupied nation for most of the next five years. Did they know how long it would last? No, but they held on to the hope that there would be life beyond the war, and in that hope they gave themselves to living for the day when the war would be over.

We are called to live with our eyes on an even greater Day – not just the day when the covid-19 crisis will subside, though that will be a day of great rejoicing, but the day when our eyes see the King in his beauty. Our response to Him in this age will determine whether that Day brings us the joy of sharing his reward or the horror of irreversible judgement. We are made to share in His glorious Kingdom that is coming, and to inherit a new heaven and a new earth. Don’t let the troubles of today cause you to lose sight of that hope. Let that hope anchor your soul. The King is coming.

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