In Search of Good News

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Yesterday I had had about as much bad news as I could stomach. On the national scene and on the local scene it just wasn’t good. Russian war crimes and more Ukrainian victims is off the scale of my comprehensive thinking. Locally citizens were choosing to tear each other down rather than just agreeing to disagree about a matter; or Heaven forbid, consider that there might be other solutions than their own. I was trying to cover news objectively and unbiased, but I’m human and I really just wanted to tell a few people what I thought of their behavior. But I did not. I chose to suffer anxiety until I fell asleep. That made everything so much better.

But this morning is a new day. For everyone of us! We have a choice whether or not to focus on the negative or the positive and to choose God’s side regardless of the arguments below.

My question for myself this morning was, if I had ask yesterday, what God thought of each issue that was causing a knot in my stomach, what would He have said? Let’s take the biggest issue right now int he world, the war against Ukraine. What does God want me to do about that war? Is there anyway that I can help those people.

Oh yes, there is a way. My mind went to three men on a hill in Rephedim…

Exodus 17:10-16 KJV
[10] So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. [11] And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. [12] But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. [13] And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. [14] And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. [15] And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi: [16] For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.

Three men on a hill, not in the battle, just observing from afar. Moses lifted his hands and there was victory, but if his hands went down there was defeat. So the two that were with him, his brother Aaron and friend Hur, stayed up his arms and helped a brother out. Can we not do the same for Ukraine today? Can we not lift them up in prayer and cause the battle to sway on Ukraine’s behalf? It is not for me to say if God will do that, but how will we know if we dare not ask. And would we not want someone somewhere praying for us in like manner if this attack had happened on American soil? Prayer doesn’t seem like much until it’s all you’ve got.

Three men on a hill saved thousands of lives. Think about that! Do you have two friends you can gather with today and pray? Or just you, God won’t mind in the least if it’s a private conversation. But we have got to lift people in prayer if we want to make a difference from where we are.

How to pray for Ukraine: From “Send International”.

  1. Ask God to redeem this situation by drawing many people to Himself. May Ukrainians discover that Jesus is the only true source of peace, safety, comfort, truth and freedom
  2. For the opening of corridors both for evacuation and humanitarian aid around cities under attack in Ukraine. Many people in these cities are without heat and electricity.
  3. For many churches that opened their doors to neighbors offering food and shelter.
  4. For protection of many kids and parents who will spend another night in bomb shelters, metro stations or on the roads to safer places and all brave volunteers risking their lives to evacuate people.
  5. For logistics of getting funds and humanitarian aid to churches and refugee camps so they continue to have food, medicine and other supplies.
  6. For protection of lives but also church buildings that were built so sacrificially for years. May these churches be a beacon of light for those who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior!
  7. For many pastors leading their flocks at this critical time of decision and risk. They carry a heavy burden.
  8. For many believing men who will have to bear arms against a professional army as the war continues. There is no other alternative for them, that we know about. Pray also for the many women who are fighting as well.
  9. For the Lord to cause the opposing army to lose the will to fight, be afraid, be confused, or use other methods to stop the war.
  10. For many volunteers who are setting up camps for refugees, so that they will have necessary funds, places for accommodation, and physical strength to serve.
  11. For many believers to stay strong, continue trusting the Lord and not to give in to panic, fear and desperation.

Now, What about the day to day stresses in our own lives. First, think about the Ukrainian prayer list. That alone should put most of our lives into a different prayer category. Few, if any, who read this post are facing that kind of prayer need. But that’s not to say our needs aren’t important. They are and God cares about each and every one of them.

But today, I’m going to choose to focus on three men on a mountain. There’s a bluegrass song by that title with the the lyrics, “Three men on a mountain, up on Calvary, the one in the middle was Jesus, He died for you and me.” His arms were outstretched too, but not like Moses.’ His were stretched out in sacrifice. Today I can pray for Ukraine and know that my prayer is heard for the land far away. But because of Jesus’ sacrifice and my belief in it, He’s in me, comforting my heart and taking care of the battles that I am facing on American soil as well. There was a child in our community diagnosed with cancer this week… that’s a real life battle. That’s life in perspective. There were some seriously hurt feelings yesterday, God heard it. And He’ll handle it. In His time and in His way.

Today there is good news. God is on the throne. He sees everything happening every where and I feel so much better knowing that He understands my every fear and heartache and that He too has experienced it all. My Pastor said in a sermon last week that “Christ had to experience death, so that He could take it away from Satan who thought he had the power over it! Glory to God isn’t that an amazing thought. Satan will continue to wreak havoc for a while, but his day is coming. And until then, we have hope and security in knowing that we do not have to rely on anyone else to lift up their arms in battle. We have the right through the blood of Jesus to go before the throne ourselves and say “Lord, I need you! Please help.”

I don’t know about you, but this word wrote me happy! Three men on a mountain… yes I was as unworthy as the thieves hanging with Jesus, but He has prepared a place for me, just as he did the thief who accepted Him on the cross. Jesus took the fear of death, hell and the grave and replaced it with hope and peace! Glory! That is such good news. I pray you know that feeling today. If you do not, message me and let me pray with you. If you have a prayer need, I’d be every so grateful to be your Aaron or Hur and lift you up to the Lord. God loves you, and so do I. I even love the people that I wanted to pinch the heads off of yesterday. Hey… I’m still human. I have not got my glorified body and this one is still very much in the flesh. I understand frustration. But not as much as Jesus understands and He can help.

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