When Will We Have Peace?

Now may the LORD of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The LORD be with you all! I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, and this is a distinguishing mark in every letter; this is the way I write. The grace of our LORD JESUS  CHRIST be with you all.
2 Thessalonians 3:16‭-‬18 NASB1995

The SOURCE of Peace: “Now may the LORD of [THE] peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The LORD be with you all!” Peace, TRUE Peace,only comes from the LORD. People ask, “When will we have world peace?” “How do we achieve world peace?” The answer is simple. World peace will only happen when Jesus returns. Until then, how can we have personal peace? There is only true peace with God. Individually, we can have objective peace within ourselves through Jesus Christ. He purchased our peace with His sacrifice.

The Peace of God (verse 16) is a sense of tranquility and calm in the heart, “when you feel all smooth inside.” Without His peace, we are in a constant, internal state of war. The Triune God is the only source of peace, the serenity of the Trinity. Through Him, transient worry becomes transcendent peace.

“The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.”
Psalms 29:11 NASB1995

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
John 14:27 NASB1995

In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.
John 16:23 NASB1995

When do we have this peace? When we fully accept and rely on Christ, we can have it continually, as a constant in every circumstance; through all, in all, for all. Peace is not found in a place or circumstance, it is found in ONE person, Jesus Christ, through all and in all.

So how do we go about securing this Peace? By appropriating His Presence – His Presence is our peace. “The steadfast of mind will find perfect peace.” We secure it by walking in the Spirit – the fruits of the Spirit. (Galatians 5). Reading and meditating on the Word, and with thankful prayer – Philippians 4:6-7(8-9) basically says `don’t worry, be thankful! Release the worries and capture the good, the blessings, and receive unexplained, unassailable peace.`Above all, look for the Second Coming; the Return of Christ. We know that it all comes together then! He IS coming, and He is bringing PEACE. Where there is depth, there is peace…. it is not on the surface!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians 5:22 NASB1995

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:6‭-‬9 NASB1995

Should I feel quilty that I am at peace, knowing how stressed out and worried people around me are? We have our “special forces” in the form of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I don’t believe we should feel guilty because we have found peace. Our peace can be the example, the beacon, of God’s love to those around us. If we radiate peace, they will ask how we have achieved it, leaving us the opportunity to share Christ with them. In light of everything going on in the world around us, I expect we’re going to be seeing lots of opportunities to share!

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.
Ecclesiastes 3:1‭, ‬4 NASB1995

Foundations for Good

“When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? The LORD is in His Holy Temple; the LORD is on His heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; His eyes examine them.”
Psalm 11:3‭-‬4 NIV

https://bible.com/bible/111/psa.11.3-4.NIV

The very foundations of our world are being destroyed as we sit back and watch. Morals are in the gutter. People are standing on the streets chanting “Up with Satan”. Children are being murdered with society’s blessing. Men and women are marching to celebrate perversity, and dancing naked and nearly so in the streets. Politicians lie with impunity, and live a blatant double standard. Eugenics is alive and well in these United States. Racism is promoted as being “progressive”. Corporations push transgenderism on our children through toys and clothing lines. Christians are persecuted and murdered in many countries. “Entertainment” is actively anti-Christian.

Where do you stand? The very foundations of Christianity are being challenged and watered down to suit the enemy’s agenda, while we – at least, for many – stand by and watch.

“When all that is good falls apart, what can good people do?” (Max Lucado)

I’ve already run for dear life straight to the arms of GOD. So why would I run away now when you say, “Run to the mountains; the evil bows are bent, the wicked arrows Aimed to shoot under cover of darkness at every heart open to GOD. The bottom’s dropped out of the country; good people don’t have a chance”?
Psalm 11:1‭-‬3 MSG

https://bible.com/bible/97/psa.11.1-3.MSG

Run straight for GOD. Don’t pass go; don’t collect $200. Don’t pause for breath. Stand firm in His arms!

I Can’t Keep Up

I’ve been texting with my “little” brother this morning. He’s sending pictures of their place. The garden and greenhouse he built for them. My attempts are so feeble compared to his. It’s not that I don’t want to do better and have better, I just can’t keep up. There was a time when I could. My body has betrayed me, and I hate it. I look at my yard, and I can see how I want it…. and that’s where it remains. In my mind.

Then I opened my devotional by Max Lucado to today’s selection. Tears came. God knew I would be upset, and He arranged this for me to read today. It’s in God is With You Every Day, for May 22, titled Your Best Days. He tells the story of a little boy trying to keep up with his family in an airport, until he plops himself down on his bag and shouts, “I can’t keep up!”

That’s how I feel. “GOD, I can’t keep up!”

Max Lucado goes on to say this: “Sometimes the challenge is just too much. You want to keep up. You try. It’s not that you don’t. Life has a way of taking the life out of us. When you run out of fight,remember that the promises of God are your to claim. God’s Word dares you to believe that your best days are ahead of you. God promises you a Promised Land.”

Thanks, Max. I needed that today. My Promised Land is coming. I know that, and I need to be reminded sometimes. It may not be on this earth, but someday, I’ll have a garden that defies anything I can imagine now. Remember that. Whatever your dream is. Your Promised Land may not be on this earth. Are you confident that you will reach it? Are you a Child of the King, to claim your inheritance?

“You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your GOD gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”
Joshua 23:14 NIV

https://joshua.bible/joshua-23-14

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

O LORD, GOD of my salvation, I cry out to you by day. I come to You at night. Now hear my prayer; listen to my cry. For my life is full of troubles, and death draws near. I am as good as dead, like a strong man with no strength left. They have left me among the dead, and I lie like a corpse in a grave. I am forgotten, cut off from Your care. You have thrown me into the lowest pit, into the darkest depths. Your anger weighs me down; with wave after wave You have engulfed me. You have driven my friends away by making me repulsive to them. I am in a trap with no way of escape. My eyes are blinded by my tears. Each day I beg for Your help, O LORD; I lift my hands to You for mercy. Are Your wonderful deeds of any use to the dead? Do the dead rise up and praise You? Can those in the grave declare Your unfailing love? Can they proclaim Your faithfulness in the place of destruction? Can the darkness speak of Your wonderful deeds? Can anyone in the land of forgetfulness talk about Your righteousness? O LORD, I cry out to You. I will keep on pleading day by day. O LORD, why do You reject me? Why do You turn Your face from me? I have been sick and close to death since my youth. I stand helpless and desperate before Your terrors. Your fierce anger has overwhelmed me. Your terrors have paralyzed me. They swirl around me like floodwaters all day long. They have engulfed me completely. You have taken away my companions and loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend.
Psalms 88:1‭-‬18 NLT

https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.88.1-18.NLT

If you stop reading here, you’ll probably be filled with hopelessness and despair. This Psalm was written by Heman the Ezrahite, a Temple musician, song leader, and a wise and worshipful man. This psalm shows that anyone can suffer from depression. Even the great scholar and preacher Charles Spurgeon suffered terribly from depression. No matter how strongly you believe in God and salvation, depression can be a serious issue. There are many possible causes: situational, systemic (chemical imbalance), physical issues, satanic, or spiritual, but there are things God can teach us in the darkness that we cannot learn in the light. Like in verse 7, it can feel as though God is pouring out His wrath on us, even though we know He doesn’t do that. This Psalm shows that God truly knows how we feel.

Did you know that depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S.? Statistically, we are the saddest, most depressed nation in the world. There’s plenty to be depressed about. Man made viruses, abortion on demand, war and rumors of war, violence threatened against conservatism, out of control inflation, food shortages, the highest gas prices in decades (ever?), and the utter confusion our kids and young people are dealing with with multiple genders and the LGB+ agenda being crammed down their throats from every side. Christians are constantly being attacked, in print and in the news as being bigoted. Being white or light skin automatically labels you as racist. It isn’t okay to be patriotic for our own country or to want our own country safe from invaders ….. but you’d better support sending billions of dollars to other countries to defend their borders! (It’s kind of depressing to me to even write about it!)

What can we do? How do we deal with depression? Keep talking to GOD! Tell Him everything. Cry to Him and with Him. Even our hymns show that other Christians struggle with depression and understand our needs from being depressed: “I need You, Oh, I need You….” “I must tell Jesus”…. Be reverent, but also be honest with God. Be persistent in prayer, even if you are being repetitious. Let the Spirit speak when you can’t form the words. We deserve the darkness because of our sins, but because of JESUS, we don’t have to dwell in it! “No pit is so deep, that He is not deeper still” – Corrie Ten Boom. Don’t be ashamed or let anyone embarrass you for needing antidepressants to help you out of the pit of depression. God gave us doctors for a reason. Let the LORD set you free from the darkness!

I will sing of the Lord’s unfailing love forever! Young and old will hear of your faithfulness. Your unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.
Psalms 89:1‭-‬2 NLT

https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.89.1-2.NLT

The Prophesy of Ezekiel

And the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog (central Asia), the prince of Rosh (Russia), Meshech and Tubal (Turkey), and prophesy against him and say, ‘Thus says the LORD GOD, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords; Persia (Iran), Ethiopia (Sudan), Put (Libya) with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah (Russia/Turkey) from the remote parts of the north with all its troops—many peoples with you. “Be prepared, and prepare yourself, you and all your companies that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them.” Ezekiel 38:1‭-‬8 NASB1995

Read chapter 37 regarding the Jewish people coming back to Israel. Persia became Iran in 1935, and the Republic of Islam in the 1970’s. In the Battle of Gog and Magog – Gog is an individual, but he is not the antichrist. Satan wants to change and control the outcome of this prophecy. He is using the Mullah regime to attempt to fast track the Apocalypse by destroying the Great Satan, which is the USA. GOD won’t be rushed! It will happen, but only in His timing. We are seeing prophecy fulfilled, but it hasn’t all come to pass yet. Israel is populated and prosperous, but not yet at peace. In the Panorama of Prophesy…. will the battle of Gog and Magog happen before or after Second Coming?

(12) “You will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you.” ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan, and you will say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world.’ Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, ‘Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?’ ” ’ “Therefore prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “On that day when My people Israel are living securely, will you not know it? You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army; and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.” ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Are you the one of whom I spoke in former days through My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days for many years that I would bring you against them? (18) It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” declares the Lord GOD, “that My fury will mount up in My anger. In My zeal and in My blazing wrath I declare that on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground. I will call for a sword against him on all My mountains,” declares the Lord GOD. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. With pestilence and with blood I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain on him and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire and brimstone. I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the LORD.” ’
Ezekiel 38:9-‬23 NASB1995

The invaders will come for plunder and to control the middle east. Starting in verse 18, the greatest battle of all time is described; Armageddon.

How do we respond and prepare as Christians?
1. Receive Christ as Saviour – He is coming! WHOEVER will call upon the Name of the LORD will be saved….
2. Remember, GOD is in control. He knows the future. Jesus said “And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pains.” Matthew 24:6‭-‬8 NASB2020
3. Remain alert and awake. Prophesy is there to keep us disciplined, transformed, and focused on the Blessed Hope.
4. Witness more. Encourage others. Pray.

Pray for the people of Israel, and all of the Middle East; Russia, Ukraine and all of that region, and China, for those people are living in the lands that the prophet Ezekiel testified about.

We The People….

I’m reading a book set in 1860, before Abraham Lincoln was elected President, and the controversy of slavery. It wasn’t just slavery, but a way of life for the southern states. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was popular in the North and loudly disputed as lies and falsehood in the South. Our nation was divided by state, but also within families. Parents were divided, children, brothers, sisters, cousins were adamant that their side was the right side. We know from our history that this led to the Civil War, a terrible, bloody war that destroyed families and lives. North v. South; the Republican antislavery party v. the Democratic proslavery party.

Think about that for a minute. How close are we to something very similar today? Once again, we have families divided over issues like abortion, the Black Lives Matter movement, mask and covid shot mandates, Critical Race Theory in schools, more government control/Socialism v. less government control/Freedom. Defund the Police. What’s right? What’s wrong? Is it a conspiracy theory if it’s true? All Christians should be united on all of these issues, shouldn’t they? Seems like we should be, yet I find myself at odds with Christian family members and friends over just these issues! I ask, how can a Christian support taking the life of an unborn baby? How is a person more valuable because of skin color? Should a government be able to tell me I must mask up or take a shot when the science doesn’t support it? Yes, we should “render into Caesar what is Caesar’s”, but at what point is it too much?

Many, many people are literally preparing for a civil uprising to protest against tyranny. Peaceful protests are already occurring in many cities across our nation. Personally, I’m afraid that in order to stop the tyranny occurring in our capital, it’s going to require more than these peaceful gatherings, but I continue to pray that our leadership will get the message and make the changes needed. Are Christians involved in this movement? Absolutely. Unfortunately, there are also many others involved in the violence that is happening throughout the nation.

What can we do? I believe in being as prepared as possible for this recession we are swiftly headed into. It is critical that Christians unite in prayer for our leaders, and for guidance from God on what to support, and how to support it. I try not to engage in debate with family on subjects that I know we feel strongly about, but I cannot completely back down when I know that my beliefs are biblically correct. The only answer I have to the question is to pray. What would God have me do? We each have to be patient and pray and wait for His guidance. If His answer is to resist tyranny, then that is what I will do, to the best of my ability. Remember, our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the enemy.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
Ephesians 6:10‭-‬13 NASB199

https://bible.com/bible/100/eph.6.10-13.NASB1995

How much do you REALLY need?

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17 NASB1995

https://bible.com/bible/100/exo.20.17.NASB1995

How much do you REALLY need? Covetousness is the violation of the first commandment – whether other gods, another’s goods, or restless dissatisfaction with our life. It hides in our hearts: “covet” is repeated for emphasis, and it is comprehensive – it covers everything. Instead of looking at others possessions, we should be thankful that our neighbor has what they have. It’s okay to have desires, but not when it becomes an obsession. “If only…” is one of the most destructive phrases in existence. In Joshua, chapter 7, covetousness cost Achor his life. Paul warns the Corinthians about covetousness:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”
1 Corinthians 6:9‭-‬10 NASB1995

https://bible.com/bible/100/1co.6.9-10.NASB1995

The thirst for more – having wealth is not the problem, but when the wealth owns you, that is the problem, when the focus is always on “more”.

“Then [Jesus] said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”
Luke 12:15 NASB1995

https://bible.com/bible/100/luk.12.15.NASB1995

Cultivate contentment, not complacency. Be satisfied; subtract ungodly desires, add dependence on Christ. Contentment defined: The learned, divinely empowered ability to be satisfied with the providence of God in any and every circumstance of life. (1 Timothy 6, Hebrews 13:5 Philippians 4:13) Through the Strength of Christ, we can be content. SEE what you have and be thankful.

“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’] For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” Matthew 6:9‭-‬15 NASB1995

Repent, for the LORD is Near

“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 NASB1995

https://bible.com/verse-of-the-day/2pe.3.9/691

Have you seen people wearing placards and crying “Repent! The end is near!”? Hae you read the story of Chicken Little crying “The sky is falling”, or Peter and the Wolf, who cried “Wolf!” so many times so that when the wolf really came, no one believed him. Are we like that? Christians crying that “The end of the world is here, Jesus is coming, Jesus is coming!”, and now unbelievers just scoff?

People are so dramatic….. or should I say we are attention seekers and drama queens? God will come when He comes. Even Jesus couldn’t tell us exactly when He will return. Read Matthew, chapter 24. Jesus is speaking to His disciples about the end of times, in response to their questions. Mark also documents these words of Jesus in Mark 13.

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32 NASB1995

https://bible.com/bible/100/mat.24.36.NASB1995; https://bible.com/bible/100/mrk.13.32.NASB1995

Should we even talk about the end times? I think it’s good to read the Scriptures so that we know what will happen, but we do a disservice to ourselves and to the world when we speculate on the when. Focus, instead, on the fact that Jesus is coming again, and whether or not you are ready.

“Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—”
Mark 13:33‭, ‬35 NASB1995

https://bible.com/bible/100/mrk.13.33-35.NASB1995

Billy Graham answered the question of why God keeps secret the time of Jesus’ Second Coming. He says “…. the Bible does tell us that certain events must happen before His return — many of which seem to be taking place today. For example, Jesus said that “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world … and then the end will come” – Matthew 24:14. Why hasn’t God revealed it to us? Suppose you knew for certain that Christ’s coming was still several centuries away. What difference would His return make to you then? Probably very little. But because it could happen at any moment, we should have a sense of urgency to do God’s will. Jesus said, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me” – John 9:4. Make every day count for Him.” (From https://billygraham.org/answer)

That’s an incredible statement. Make every day count for Him. Maybe, it’s a challenge. What will you do with it?