|Under Pressure but Still Shining!|
Are you like me...sick and tired of all the crime and violence in our cities? It's easy to point the fingers at great metropolitans like New York, Chicago, and L.A. which are pretty much known for these sorts of things, but it's not just the big cities. Small town America, like my little hometown in Missouri is rife with drugs, murder and senseless preying on innocent victims. As that old song says, Don't It Make You Wanna Holler? Well I did and I still do from sheer frustration! I know I'm not alone. Every day I talk to saints with the same feelings but I just want to say, now is not the time to give up! Consider the Source and continue your walk of faith (Gal. 6:9).
My pastor is in week two of a powerful sermon series: How to Handle a Crisis (Matthew 14:13-20). More than once this week I've had to review my notes in order to refresh my spirit. I mean there's something always going on. When I'm out and about I'm on High Alert, watching where I park, making sure that my packages are out of sight. With my keys in hand, I walk briskly to my car and that's at 9:00 o'clock in the morning in the middle of the week! My door bell rings and instead of opening up with my usual smile, I play detective. First looking out the window to see what car is in the driveway, then the peep hole in the door to make sure I recognize the person. We have lots of solicitors that troll our neighborhood. Time was I felt no qualms in opening my door for a small child or a woman, I pause now to think before doing so. We know that the Evil One will use anyone to cause harm!
I'm not paralyzed with fear because of what I read or see on television. Not some old lady praying and shaking behind closed doors. But I do believe what Jesus said, that you should "Watch as well as Pray!" (Matthew 26:41). Here's the temptation I face and perhaps you do too. Yes times are tough and we need to be cautious. But as children of the King we cannot live in fear! ( 2 Timothy 1:7) We cannot become so frightened that we are lulled into inactivity. Where we no longer are confident and brave enough to name Christ as the Deliverer and the Answer to the world's ill. Where we no longer fight but succumb to the Enemy's attacks. That's just what old slew foot wants us to do.
Like a precious diamond, we only become beautiful and the precious jewel we are when we survive the pressures and heat of adversity! (James 1: 2-4) When your marriage comes under attack--Consider the Source, the Lord Jesus Christ who reminds us that there is nothing impossible with Him (Mark 10:27). When evil lurks around every corner and even those who are hired to protect us are themselves murdered in the streets, Consider the Source (Psalms 91). No trouble can harm you but what God allows and He will not put more on you than you can bear (I Corin. 10:13).
So my dear Christian Sisters, let me give you My conclusion to the matter! There's nothing wrong with you! Your praying has not been in vain! Your service to God gone unheeded, nor your time spent abiding in His Word a waste! Our faith is just under pressure right now...but now is our time to shine. Like the diamond sparkling on your finger. Once it was dark and dense as coal, but under pressure its facets sparkles and shines with the Light, the Source of our strength. Remember what the writer of Hebrews says, "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."