I’m optimistic, not stupid

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As I’ve previously stated, I’m a cockeyed optimist! But before anyone gets the notion that I’m unrealistic, I thought I’d squelch that thought with some good old fashioned realism. My friend Tracy Millers sings a song with the lyrics “I’m not a Jeanie in a Bottle.” And that is truthfully how some people treat God. They forget Him for 364 days and then on the tragedy of the 365th they want God to pull their butts out of the fire. I said, we’re gettin’ real here today. I’m not throwing stones. I too have been guilty of ignoring God’s warning and then when all heck breaks loose, I want Him to fix it. It’s the way of human nature. And sometimes He does, and sometimes He lets me feel the heat of the fire.

Isaiah speaks a needful word to the children of Israel 700 – 651 B.C. (ish) in chapter 48. But not just for them, it’s a great word for the Christians of 2020.

So, you call yourself a Christian…

Isaiah 48:2-14 KJVS

[2] For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; The Lord of hosts is his name.

It’s my biggest pet peeve. Those who call themselves a Christian but could never be convicted of it for lack of evidence. And God is speaking to the children of Israel on the same matter. “So, you say your from my town, where’s the proof?”

It’s why, when things such as the Coronavirus comes into our lives, people are ill equipped to handle it. They say they have a relationship with God, but there’s no confidence of it when facing theirs and other people’s mortality. That’s when the rubber meets the road. Believe me when I say I’ve gotten the t-shirt. It fits on a little teddy bear ???? that says West Virginia University Hospital which I received during heart surgery so that I could hug it when I needed to cough following open heart surgery. I had been warned, “eat better, exercise, etc., etc.” Yes God, I’ll get to it. And I did not. And I paid the price. But praise God when I went through the fire, I had the confidence to make it through un-singed because I had a relationship with Him. Do you? In these troubling days are you confident that regardless of the outcome He’s bringing you out! Or can you feel the flames flickering at your heels?

So, you’re trusting in this world….

 [3] I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. [4] Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; [5] I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.

I see it every day. It makes me nauseous. If you’re reading this, you’re likely not one of them, else you’d not take the time to study God’s word. But they’re in the world and unfortunately their in our families. Those who still don’t see the need in turning to God and renewing their relationship with Him. Or discovering the need to have a relationship with Him.

God calls Israel a stiff neck, brow brassed nation. Hello. He’s callin’ em out! I guess that’s what I’m doing today. What are your trusting in to bring you through COVID19. And do you actually believe that you are untouchable?

[6] Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it ? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. [7] They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them. [8] Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb. [9] For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. [10] Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

I read those verses and thought… that’s why we’re still here in the midst of this crisis. God’s not about to let man say “I brought you out.” He’s allowing us to be in this furnace of affliction to not only get our attention, but to let us know… again… Who is in control. He’s deferring His anger.

So, you thought it was about you?

Ha! Not so. That’s where the arrogance of man gets us into trouble. It’s always about us, right?

[11] For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it : for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another. [12] Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. [13] Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together. [14] All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things ? The Lord hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans.

God tells Israel they’ll be restored. But it’s not that they didn’t have to go through some no good, very, very bad days. But when they came out of Egypt, and when they come out of the end days of this world, there will be no doubt WHO brought them out. And because of that history, it’s why I can say in the midst of this furnace, I’m believing in the miracle that God will bring us out of COVID19 in a miraculous way. Because He’s tired of this world too, but He still defers His anger at this present time.

So yes, I’m optimistic! But I’m not foolish enough to think that there is not always repercussion for sin and arrogance. I’m praying for our nation, I’m praying and believing that I’ll be in church on Easter Sunday wearing my new dress with the rest of the church around me. Do I know it to be true. Nope. But I know it could be!!! Glorraaaay!

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Shari Johnson. (aka The Jesus Chick) has been encouraging women of faith and youth for a closer walk with Christ for over ten years. Having a burden for the leadership in American Churches, much of her writing is meant to spear on the servant of God to do more for the cause of Christ in these uncertain times. With humor, transparency and solid bible teaching Shari outlines messages that are easily understood, life applicable, and often with easily remembered points to ponder in hopes that they’ll be reflected on throughout the day and serve as encouragement on the go. Her servant’s heart is grounded in her own local church believing that it is there that the greatest impact can be made and unfortunately suffers the greatest neglect across America. Shari speaks at women’s gatherings in hopes of leaving a giggle in their soul and a burning desire to serve in their own local body of believers having it said of her “I laughed, I cried, and I was drawn to the foot of the cross…” Which is what it’s all about. For information on scheduling Shari, call her direct at (304)377-6036, message her via email at talk2shari@gmail.com or find her on Facebook!

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