Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.”
-Jesus, in John 14
Didn’t I say it was so? A cold front blew through yesterday. In a matter of minutes, the temperature went from a balmy 79 degrees to a very cool 52 degrees. This front was all bluster and not much brawn…very little rainfall and not even a hint of thunder. But the sunset it left behind was spectacular, and I rested a moment in the sheer majesty of the Master’s paintbrush. Soaking in moments such as these is like applying balm to my soul.
It seems to me as if we are entering a new era in our history, an era marked by deception. It is tempting to shove my head under the covers and throw up my hands in dismay at the vast numbers of people in this country who believe handouts are the answer…who believe the government is their savior…who think nothing of stealing from the one who produces in order to give to the one who does not…who criticize Presidential candidates for their belief in God…who mock “evangelicals” as dumb, bitter hicks with no brains who “cling” to their guns and their religion…
…yet my Jesus said such things would happen. And he told me not to worry…he’s already overcome the world.
“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you….I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 15 and 16)
He has overcome the world? What does that mean? The Greek word is nakeo, and it literally means to conquer…to emerge victorious. It also is used when a person emerges the victor in a court case. We already have the answer to the final proceedings — we know without a doubt that there is life after death, and this life comes from our belief in Jesus…that he is God’s son. We have testimony after testimony about his resurrection, and we have seen him give sight to the blind, restore hearing, feed thousands upon thousands, bring the dead back to life…surely our faith will sustain us through these times.
But it’s not enough to just be sustained in our faith. No, we are to have JOY. And we are to ask for what we want, in Jesus’ name. Just like the disciples of old, God wants to do mighty things for us.
I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.”
How much more plain could it be? Jesus has given us the keys to the Kingdom. He has flung open the doors and the windows. It is our duty to not only vote, but to ASK THE FATHER DIRECTLY. Ask, using Jesus’ name, for the Father to heal our nation. Ask, using Jesus’ name, for the Father to stir up a revival the likes of which no one has seen before. Ask, using Jesus’ name, for the Father to have mercy on us for our sins of materialism and greed. Ask, using Jesus’ name, for the course of this country to not swing far to the left but towards the right. Ask, using Jesus’ name, for our leaders to be protected from the deception that curls and winds its way through the halls of Congress. Ask, using Jesus’ name, for the Father to circumvent the power of Obama’s money and the media so that the truth will be made known.
Ask these things and much more! Jesus tells us we WILL receive, and we WILL have abundant joy. In the face of our trials…in the face of government policies that prohibit prayers to our Father at public events, Jesus prayed for us — for you and me — for this very time and this very place — before he was arrested, (from John 17)
My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you.
Holy Father, you have given me your name;[b] now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.
I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy.
I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.
I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.
Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.
And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
“May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.
We have no fear of the Dark Side, do we? Our Father has our backs. Take a moment to let Jesus’ prayer sink in deep. Those words are for YOU! He prayed for you personally over 2000 years ago. Nothing will ever change the love he has for you and for me. Not the economy. Not this election. Not the socialism creeping up to our doorsteps.
That truth just takes my breath away.