When the person you support loses, the weight may seem heavier. If we are not careful, anxiety over the future can take over our lives.
BUT -- TAKE HEART and take a look in the BIBLE!
The Bible gives us the stories of REAL people who survived under a variety of governments. Most of the rulers did NOT believe what God's people believed.
Throughout the Bible, you find stories of believers living under slavery, servitude and even extreme oppression that threatened their lives daily. These people survived and often thrived in spite of rulers who persecuted them. How could they do this?
ENTER: AN ETERNAL GOD.
The God of the Bible led His people through oppression hundreds of years ago. That SAME GOD is our God! God led His people in Bible times. He will lead us.
REMEMBER: God cannot lead a people who are not moving. We MUST keep moving forward!
Now is not the time to be discouraged and hide in our churches (or homes)! NOW is the time to build relationships, tell our stories of how God saved us, and share the message of Jesus love for EACH individual.
BOTTOM LINE: It's not a political leader who changes hearts.
It is the ONE TRUE GOD - OUR SAVIOR!
If anything, the election should show us we have more to do. We should continue to move forward, even in the wake of persecution, and respond in love and kindness.
The Bible says you are BLESSED when you are persecuted:
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me."
-- Matt 5:11
The Bible says to PRAY for those who persecute you:
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," -- Matt 5:43-48
How do we start when we feel so overwhelmed? Here is a list of steps to take to move forward in the midst of disappointment:
Stepping Out with Jesus
.... Moving forward in the midst of disappointment:
1. Start by taking care of YOUR relationship with GOD. Read God's Word. Faith Family Resource Center will be studying the Book of Philippians in the upcoming weeks. Read the Book. Think about it. Pray. Make time to be alone with God. Communicate with your Father. Talk to God continually. Thank Him for EVERYTHING. Ask His advice about EVERYTHING. Keep the flow of info going between you and God. Make sure this is second nature in your life.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” -- Psalm 46:10
(probably written by David when he was being hunted down by King Saul)
2. Take time to influence your FAMILY. Be sure to raise your children in God's Word. LIVE as an example to them. Pattern reliance on God. Pray in front of them. Read the Bible in front of them. Take them to a Bible-based Church. Take a stand for what is right and explain to them how to deal with the culture without giving in to it. Be involved in their lives. Talk about media messages, movies, music and television. Even if they reject you and your beliefs, stand firm in love. They will think about you and will KNOW the TRUTH.
Teach these Words to your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. -- Deut 6:7 (written for the Israelites when they were roaming the desert after escaping slavery in Egypt.)
3. Be involved in your Bible-Based Church. Now is the time to evaluate your church. Does it stand on the Word of God as TRUTH? Does your church adapt to the culture or stand in contrast to the culture? BE INVOLVED! Help them with outreach. Teach children or support those who teach. GO to Church. We must not forsake gathering together!
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. -- Hebrews 10:25 (written by Paul while he was in prison in Rome. He wanted to warn the Hebrews not to go back to old rituals just to escape persecution for being believers in Christ)
4. God is at work in our nation. Watch and be ready to join God in what He is already doing. Opportunities will come to speak out, to make friends, to support people who are doing God's work. WATCH for opportunities to engage people and THEN tell them WHY: Because God loves you and changed your life -- You want to share that love with others. You want to join God in his work.
In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”-- John 5:17-18
(spoken by Jesus when he was confronted by leaders who wanted to kill him)
5. PRAY. Pray daily for our President and leaders. Pray that their hearts will be turned to God. Pray that they will make wise decisions. Ask God to heal our land.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. -- 2 Chronicles 7:13-15(Probably written after the rebuilding of the temple by Solomon with a foreshadowing of its future destruction by the invading forces)
6. PRAY. Pray for the people who influence the media. Pray for Hollywood, New York and other centers of media. Pray for Christians who work in the Media - that they will have strength to take a stand for GOD. Pray and get involved in the media. Encourage your children to choose careers that will impact the world and then PRAY for strength for THEM! Check out the website: http://hollywoodprayernetwork.com/new/welcome
7. STAND FIRM. Do not be led to compromise your own beliefs to keep the peace. You can take a stand without being mean -- even if you are met with hatred. Stand firm with love and ask God to give you strength to do the right thing.
"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." -- Joshua 24:15(The Israelites have been travelling for 40 years. They are standing on the brink of the Promised Land. BUT - they must make a choice. Will they continue to worship the God that brought them out of slavery in Egypt or will they compromise to worship other "gods" when life gets easy and they are mixing with other people?)
Let's not be discouraged! Even though the election is over, our job is not done! NOTHING has changed in the plan God has for us!
--Isn't it wonderful to know that NOTHING ever changes with GOD?!!!
God is not caught "off guard" by the movement of our nation. HE knows what is going on.
God is STILL in control.
Let's hold on to our Father and move forward with confidence! Eternity awaits so let's glorify God in our walk along the way!