Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Promise of His Presence in the Valley

Surely there are many God-fearing Haitians missing or presumed dead. Some observers will ask how God could allow His own to suffer like this. A couple of scripture passages come to mind.

In speaking of the end-times, the times of the Lord's return to earth, Jesus said,

"Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 
All these are the beginning of birth pains."
~Matthew 24:7-8

Surely we are seeing these prophecies come to pass. Our brethren suffer in many parts of the world due to famine, earthquakes, and war. We are even recognizing signs of the next verse, where Jesus says,

"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death,
and you will be hated by all nations because of me."

Are not Christians openly persecuted in many parts of the world? Are not Christians beginning to feel the sting of persecution here in our own country, to the point where many are feeling the heat and turning away, even as Jesus predicted they'd do in the very next verse.

So where is the hope in all of this? Why should Christians hang on to their God when many, if not all, of the world's tribulations afflict them, too?

Simply this: our God will never leave us or forsake us. He will go through the trials with us. This is one reason Psalm 23 remains one of the most blessed passages of the Bible.

"The LORD is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his names sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."

So hang on! And while we continue to enjoy relative freedom from suffering, we can be the hands of God to bless those who are in need of His touch. We can join others from around the world who are pouring in to help. They need our prayers, our time, our money! May God show each of us how we can be a blessing to the poor people of Haiti.

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