Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things…
If you ever watch the news, or listen to the radio, or surf the internet, or talk to anyone else who lives in this world, you know that things are getting pretty bad. Countries are at war with each other. Prisoners of war are being captured and released and tried for crimes they may or may not have committed or they are being executed without a trial. Governments are corrupt. Political leaders make promises that they have no intention of keeping in order to get into office to take advantage of the system. Judges no longer rule according to the letter of the law, but according to their feelings or personal interests. The economy is in the toilet. Joblessness is off the charts. Sickness and disease is running rampant all over the world. Lawlessness is at an all time high. Criminals have no mercy nowadays. Children disrespect parents; parents allow children to raise themselves…the divorce rate inside and outside the church is staggering. Husbands no longer “…love their wives as Christ loved the church…” and wives no longer “…submit themselves unto their own husbands as unto the Lord…” Homosexuality is the new “fad”. The liberal agenda is working hard at changing the “definition” of marriage, as if such a thing could be done. In the United States, more than 54,000,000 babies have been aborted since abortion became legal in 1973. Children are now a burden instead of the gift that God said they are. Things are getting pretty bad.
Sometimes I sit and think about the things that I have just named. They burden my heart greatly. Sometimes I wonder why God is taking so long to come back and rescue His people out of this world. I am SO ready to go…I am so ready for the Father to send His Son to take up us with Him in the clouds, so we can be with Him forever!!! Then, I think I must be some kind of escape artist. I want the easiest, fastest, safest, most secure way out of all of this mess, and I know that is the Lord. At the same time, I know that He has a reason for not having come back for us yet. Then I begin to think of all the reasons….
Maybe He has not come back because of all the lost loved ones we have here on earth. Some of us have relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers, children, grandchildren and maybe even spouses who do not know the Lord. Maybe we have lost parents or grandparents…maybe lost siblings. Whomever it is that we are praying for, if the Lord comes back when we want Him to, that person might not have a chance to come to know Him before He takes His people out of here.
All that said, I am reminded by the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:8, to think about the things that are true, and we know that God’s Word is true. He said in His Word, in Hebrews 13:5, “…He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee…” In Isaiah 54:17, the Word says “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper…” Psalm 91:10-11 says “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” Psalm 56:11 says “In God have I put my trust; I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.” Psalm 23:4 says “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 27:1 says “The Lord is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the Strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” John 14:27 says “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Jeremiah 33:3 says “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not…” Jeremiah 29:11 says “I know the plans I have for you, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you an expected end.”
As I deal with the heavy burdens on my heart, I am meditating on these promises. The Lord promised that He would not leave me. He said that no weapon will prosper against me. I trust in that. I trust that He will keep me in all my ways. I will fear no evil, for I know He is with me always. He is my Light and my Salvation, and He gives me peace. I remember the words of the psalmist in Psalm 119:140, “Thy Word is very pure, therefore thy servant loveth it.” I love God’s Word, and the fact that I can trust it to be true. I lean on it to help me maneuver this world that is so full of all of the things that I hate.
I will think on the things that are honest. People are not always honest, but I know that I can depend on every word that comes out of the mouth of God to be honest. I am going to focus on that. I will think about things that are just. God is just. Every decision that He has made has been just from the beginning of time to this very millisecond. I thank God for His being just. He is also merciful, because if He had given me the justice that I deserved, I would be dead and in hell right now. My sin deserved death and hell, but God is a merciful God, and so here I sit, giving Him glory, as I am on my way to heaven when He comes for me. I am going to think about the things that are pure and lovely and of good report…I will think about things that have virtue and things that are worthy of praise, because I know that those things will turn my sorrow into gladness.
Even as I sit here and type these words, I can tell that the Spirit of God is at work on my behalf. Thank You Lord, for how good You are to me. Help me Lord, to focus on You, and not to be distracted by the craziness of this world. I know You are coming for me one day, and when You do, I am going back with You to live in heaven for eternity. Thank You Lord!!!