Friday, February 9, 2018

This time, I'm preaching to myself

The future is uncertain.  I am surprised by how often we tend to remind ourselves that we don't know what is going to happen tomorrow.  The best that any of us can do is to read the signs and try to interpret what will come to pass in the days, months, and years to come.  At times, we look around, we read the signs, and the outlook seems pretty bleak.  When reading the signs uncovers the threat of war, injustice, suffering, political insecurity, environmental destruction, etc. we stand together and say, "The future is uncertain."  In this way, I believe that we are expressing our hope; our hope that things may yet turn out ok.

As Christians, I believe that we pronounce these words believing that God will intervene.  Yes, things may look bad, but God is alive and hears us when we call.  Our hearts may ache, but there is a future in which they will be restored in Christ Jesus.  The way seems blocked, but the Spirit is leading through each tomorrow.  As I look around me from my Central African vantage point, it is clear that the future is uncertain.  Our needs are through the roof, stability in the region seems to be hanging by a thread, and we are often isolated in our ministry.  In spite of this, we are not without hope for a future in which the Kingdom of God advances from day to day.  God is moving.  People are being touched, challenged, and changed by the Gospel.

It was in part to this sentiment, felt by his followers, that led Jesus to proclaim,
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit come on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8)
Jesus was leaving and the disciples had a big job to do.  How would they carry on without their master?  What if nobody believed in their message?  What if they could not produce the signs and wonders that the people were accustomed to seeing in Jesus?  What if they failed?

The past is less uncertain, or not really uncertain at all.  We have proof of God's faithfulness, abondant love, and awesome power.  So, it is in times like these, where I keep thinking about my uncertain future, that I find myself looking to the past.  The Lord has provided and will provide.  The Lord has moved in mighty ways, and will continue to do so.  We have seen the Lord build up a team for ministry and another team will be formed for tomorrow.

Lord, remind us of who you are and reassure us of who you will be.  Let your Kingdom come!

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