From that dreadful day in Eden, this world has had its challenges, struggles, conflicts, illnesses, and every form of evil imagined by the realm of darkness. Every generation has had its hour of darkness that appeared as though it might usher in the end of time. I can understand this. Fear can take control of rational thinking. It is not my point to debate the timing of God to wrap things up, simply speaking of the human dilemma and our present and near future need and responsibilities.
The years of 1932 and 1933, were said to be the worst years of the Great Depression. During those years, 300,000 companies shut down. Hundreds of thousands of families were evicted from their homes. Millions of American citizens migrated from the Dust Bowl to the West of the nation. To put into perspective, the population of the U.S. in 1932 was 124,839,000; less than half of today’s population.
The years 1939 through 1945, may have been the worst years in history as we in our “golden years” have a working knowledge of, perhaps even all of world history; World War II. This world-wide conflict would take more lives and destroy more land and property over the globe than any other war, period. It has been estimated that between 45 and 60 million lives were lost, including the lives of six million Jews; evil running amuck! These numbers are staggering to the mind!
The word pandemic has been permeating our minds these past couple of years. This sickness is real; persons have and are dying. Recently, I was texting with a younger lady to encourage her while she was in the hospital with Covid. I was hoping that I could use written Scriptures and prayers sent to her to cause to not give up or give in, but to hope and fight for life. She was very appreciative of my words to her . . . then nothing. A day later I had heard she passed. Whatever we might think or assume about what is happening in conjunction with this pandemic, this sickness is affecting every family at some level.
This is not the first of pandemics in our history. A few of the worst and most devastating were: Cholera, Bubonic Plague, Small Pox, and Influenza . . . now Covid 19.
The years 2020 and 2021, have been tough years as we have and are struggling through this pandemic, a political upheaval, much fear which is driving division, hate, and finger-pointing—the Church of our LORD Jesus Christ has been under attack, and it will continue and likely grow in 2022.
So Beloved, entering a new year, 2022, what can and should a good Christian do in the throes of so much unrest?
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:19-20)
It is time that believers, the Church, stepped up and believed in the true meaning behind Paul’s words in Philippians 4:10,“ I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”
Many believe this gives Christians a ‘super power’ to achieve anything they want to achieve in the world. However, Paul had previously been making reference to the various extremes of his life; the good times and the times of great sufferings. He said in verse 11, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”
Beloved, we need to learn that no matter what we face in this life, that Jesus is enough; we are satisfied in Him, content! Friends, I want to give you some strong suggestions to purposely put into play to help you in 2022 and beyond!
First, from Ephesians 5:18, “Be filled with the Spirit.” Walk (live)in the Spirit. One who walks in the Spirit is an effective tool or weapon in the hand of God!
If you do not allow the Spirit of God to keep you and control your emotions, fear will have you! Your will is likely the point of your defeat in worldly struggles. When you win the battle over your will facing God, you win your battle in the world! The length of time it takes to defeat your will, to die to self, to surrender self to Him, depends wholly upon you, but win you must!
“Submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
You must become a ‘dead man walking’ in the power of God! Believer, your church, and your community, needs to see God’s holiness working in and through your total life. A Christian should make it easy and desirable for others to believe in God. You are not a tree, but a branch. You cannot stand alone and survive; you must abide in the Vine, Christ Jesus!
Secondly, be in the moment where you are, and occupied with your surroundings! Jesus said, “Watch and Pray!” Paul said, “Pray without ceasing!” My former D.I. said continuously, “Be aware of what’s goin’ on!” Simply put, pay attention to the things happening in your world, both near and far. Be “in” the moment to be an effective threat to the enemy!
Next, ask God regularly for His shielding protection, and watch for how it may come so you may embrace it. Understand, you may be totally surprised at His methods, so be so aware of things that you will not ignore His solution.
Lastly, boldly use God’s given authority in necessary situations, but do so in the Spirit’s loving control . . . never in anger out of control! Shouting and screaming at the devil never adds power to God’s orchestrated demands. I have defeated the enemy softly speaking, often whispering commands to stop or leave with great effectiveness; stomping and snorting pride-fully at the devil has little use. Always be certain the Spirit is guiding your actions.
Brothers and sisters, this much I believe based on patterns laid out over recent years; things are likely to continue on the course toward making Christianity a social hardship. However, our LORD has overcome the world, and in Him we are more than conquerors. Keep the faith. Never give up or give in. Pray On! Happy New Year!