Nine days ago marked one of the most monumental and amazing moments in my life thus far. I said “I do” and was joined in marriage to my beautiful wife, Jaclyn. She came into my life less than sixty days after I totally surrendered my life to Jesus Christ and made a commitment to daily prayer and Bible study.
I had spent my entire adult life reading, studying and searching for answers to the big questions in life, anywhere and everywhere except the Holy Bible, and my life was in utter ruins because of it.
Within the next 48 hours, I will be able to say that I have read every single word in the Bible. Within the first 30 days of my commitment to read it and seek God in prayer, I knew my life would never be the same. The changes that have taken place in my life over the past year are more than I can count, but I can say this: When I decided to read the Bible for myself, I realized I couldn’t make fun of it anymore.
It wasn’t just the reading though, it was the believing, the digesting, the praying about what I’d read that really made the difference. God revealing Himself to me, my personal relationship with Him through His son Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross, and all the amazing blessings He has poured out in my life as a result of my surrender and obedience to Him, have brought insurmountable JOY, yet that joy has come with something else attached to it.
The joy has come with a deep and heavy sadness. A grief and despair for the people I see everywhere I turn who are living in darkness, who are calling evil good and calling good evil. It has come with a blindingly bright contrast between my life before and after not just my ACCEPTANCE of Jesus Christ, but most importantly my SURRENDER to Him. This contrast becoming so visible in my own life has made it easy to see the contrast in the hearts and minds and actions of those I’m surrounded by on a daily basis. It is painful to see.
A couple of months ago, I found out that one of the main prayers my wife had for me at the beginning of our relationship was that God would rapidly grow me in the area of discernment, and this echoed my constant plea to God for Him to remove from me everything that was not of Him so I could more brightly shine His light and His truth to the world. A challenging thing about praying something like this is that the closer you draw to God the more you grow in discernment. This is a sign of spiritual maturity. It also means that you begin to share God’s heart on things, meaning you begin to love what He loves and hate what He hates.
People love to quote 1 John 4:8 by saying that GOD is LOVE, especially with all their “#lovewins,” but everyone wants to leave out that God is also equally WRATH. The new age pseudo-spirituality wants everyone to believe there is no hell, there will be no judgement or condemnation and we should all just “live our own truth” and “follow our heart” and “do whatever makes us happy.” We live in a world that is telling us to create our own personal heaven on earth instead of realizing that we are to keep our mind on the life thereafter so we can successfully navigate the trials and temptations of this earth and enter the narrow gate.
I am full of sadness for the countless people in the world who know OF God, but do not know Him personally. I am sad for the countless people who want to quote the Bible and give you their interpretations of what it means, but have never prayerfully attempted to understand it or asked God to share His heart with them personally, on the more challenging topics it contains. These people have fallen away and jumped into the deep end of the world.
I am greatly saddened by people who believe the Christians who speak out against what is now “progressive” and “popular” and even now legal, should be labeled as “bigots” and “homophobes” and “hate-mongers.” I’m equally saddened that there are in fact many people who call themselves Christians who rightfully deserve those titles.
I have sadness because the world is drawing a line in the sand and dividing us all between ourselves. Family, friends, loved ones, are being separated and pushed apart because of which side of whatever current issue they chose to stand on. Satan is winning and his plan to divide us and distract us to fight amongst ourselves is working on a very large-scale. From the banners we choose to put on our Facebook profile pics, to the names and jokes being made at each other on both sides, a separation is occurring, a polarization, and it is sad to watch.
I have sadness because I have chosen to stand on God’s TRUTH as revealed in the Holy Scriptures and am losing friends, getting blocked on FB and called names. I am even more saddened that I could even possibly think to feel sorry for myself or others feeling emotionally hurt by people’s words, when I open a mailer from a Sudanese ministry I support to see pics of Christ followers being whipped and beaten for their faith–the selfishness we have to think our own pain is the most important.
However, despite all of this I have immense joy because I see those few people being drawn to repentance. I see those few souls still sensitive to their deep emptiness and longing for more who are pulling their Bibles off the shelves, dusting them off and falling to their knees in prayer. I have joy because I know God is still on His throne. I have joy because I know that the day my Savior returns will be during a time like the day’s of Noah, when lawlessness abounds and love-grows cold. Those descriptions come more accurate of the world I see every day, and it just means our Lord is even closer to coming for His bride.
While there are many who took a wrong turn with compromise onto the road of apostasy, I have joy because there are many others coming to faith and obedience in the Lord Jesus Christ right before the He comes like a thief in the night to take us into eternity with Him. Do you share in my sadness? Would you like to share in my joy?
Can you understand that not everything that seems good comes from God? Can you see that His ways are higher than our own? Will you take up your cross and follow my Jesus? Will you stand on God’s truth or will you side with the perishing world?
Pray, repent, and ask Jesus Christ to forgive you and show you His heart on what is happening in the world today, He is waiting to hear from you personally and give you a response.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)