Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We are not of those who shrink back...

I love the concept and practice of endurance. I run long distances, fending off the elements and the desire to stop for the simple satisfaction of enduring. I admire corporations that endure the tests of time and stay focused on a corporate mission that works. Churches that endure without compromise receive my applause. People who endure unusual difficulty and hardship cause me to stop and take notice of their fortitude and determination. Endurance has always been important, but it is a necessary characteristic now more than ever.

This past Sunday legislation intended to revolutionize healthcare in America was approved. On multiple occasions I was questioned about what was transpiring and asked to pray. As I concluded a meeting with a group of wise men in the church this past Sunday evening, we broke up into groups to pray. More than a few times did I hear prayers for our government rising forth unto heaven.

Some are struck with fear during these uncertain times, others with anger. Whenever a person feels a loss of control, these two emotions naturally emerge. This is due to our inherent nature pushing us to be in control of our destiny. When we are confronted with the reality that we have so little control – as was evidenced this past Sunday when the healthcare vote was taken – our emotions are inflamed because we reckon ourselves powerless to control that which plays such a major role in our lives. When this occurs we will view the events either positively or negatively. I am determined to remain positive believing that opportunity prevails.

During times of difficulty and uncertainty there are always opportunities to be seized. May this be a time when the Christian church seizes opportunities to advance the Gospel among a struggling people seeking real meaning and purpose for living. May we seize the opportunity to pray more as God’s people – lifting up our cry to our Father’s ears. May we seize the opportunity to represent Christ with a spirit of optimism rather than pessimism. May we be a people who turn to God’s Word for truth rather than the American media. May we see the recent events in our country as opportunity for God to bring good from what appears to be the opposite? And may we be people who evidence a steadfast endurance now more than ever.

America is a nation that endures! We have the oldest living constitution in existence. We have faced countless challenges to our freedom and prosperity and yet we remain firmly established. We have learned that endurance is necessary if we are going to continue to march forward as a people. Even more so, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ has endured for roughly 2,000 years. We have endured persecution and calamity, deception and heresy, times of prosperity and times of decline – and yet we march forward by faith. May we be people who refuse to shrink back now more than ever!

Today, if you feel like you may not be able to hang on any longer, have faith. Strengthen your grip on God’s promises. Allow Hebrews 10:38 and 39 to encourage you to endure - “But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.”