Joy Waits on God

I am war-weary, in need of a furlough, and awaiting an honorable discharge. I am battle-hardened but this war is long; it has been raging for centuries, filling the earth with blood. My enemy is a deceptive predator who sometimes, weakens me by sneaking into my thoughts. You see, I once fought on his side, he thought he owned me. I was his tool, a common weapon that he had no regard for, and he thought to destroy me just for the twisted joy of practicing destruction. Please understand, my enemy, who was once my master can only, destroy. He has no power to build and he is enraged because the purpose that drives him has only one end, his own destruction. He targets me with his vengeance because I am the tool he prized for dishonor that was rescued by the One Who limits his power; by giving him over to his own desire. Though I once belonged to the enemy and was set to suffer his fate, my Savior rescued me, cleaned me up, repaired me, and gave me a new purpose. I no longer serve the purpose of destruction. I now, serve a new Master, my Friend, Who is the author of eternal life. By His Mercy, I live to serve God and surrender all that I am for His honor and glory.

The war I endure as hardship is the war with sin within. Those old thoughts and desires that the enemy knows so well and does all he can do to re-ignite, in hopes of weakening me and bringing me down. He oppresses me by the sin that flourishes without, in hopes of making my new purpose ineffective. He attacks and wounds my flesh, he threatens my existence. He taunts me, deceives me, and sets traps to make me fall. He accuses me of the evil he wishes me to commit. He castes his shame on me, hoping to weigh me down with undo guilt. He mocks me as he also, mocks my God, my Savior. He surrounds me with clouds of confusion like poison gas. He’s desperate because he knows he’s fighting a war he can’t win and that desperation has driven him mad. His fury is unleashing now to destroy everything and everyone in his limited power to destroy. He seeks to destroy me and those others like me who belong to Jesus. He can drain our blood and break our bodies but our souls belong to Jesus, the One Whose body was broken, blood drained out, but rose to live again.

Though all who believe in Jesus, in whom the Holy Spirit dwells, be wiped from the earth, they will remain safe in Jesus, awaiting His return. Then the enemy of man, God, and life will have his full season; a short time to visibly reign as god and bring woe to those who remain on the earth. Then Jesus and His called out company will return and cut that awful season short; because God is merciful and does not rejoice in the death of the wicked. Then my enemy will do hard time, awaiting Judgment, an eternal sentence in the prison of the torture he invented and visited on God’s children; suffering the eternal torment that belongs to the enemy of God. Then I will receive my furlough, it will last 1,000 years, in a world very different from the world I live in now. Joy won’t have to hide. Joy won’t be frustrated. Joy will over-flow and rejoice in the rapture of ultimate liberty!

My honorable discharge will come on the day I set foot in the new heaven and new earth, after one final battle with Satan; but it will be short. By then, all will know Satan for the loser he is, and sin will no longer sting and infect God’s children with death. Until then, I wait for my Jesus to return, strengthened by the joy I have in Him; protected in battle, my wounds tended, and relying on God for final victory. When overwhelmed by the specter of the enemy’s destructive force, I look up. Jesus is coming soon and I walk by faith, not by sight.

Joy Mourning The River of Lost Souls

The following is an article from my home-town paper concerning a plume of contaminated water released into the Animas River by the EPA. This is your tax dollars at work folks. No terrorist organization could have done it better. The Animas River may never be the same and many of us desert-dwellers depend on the waters of the Animas for survival. Please pray for all of us who live along The River of Lost Souls.

AZTEC — State and local officials blasted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a briefing in Aztec this morning over its handling of a dam that burst in southwest Colorado Wednesday and released water contaminated by a mine into the Animas River.

“We haven’t even been able to confirm what the levels of contamination are on the river,” New Mexico Environment Department Cabinet Secretary Ryan Flynn said.

An EPA team was working at the Gold King Mine above Silverton, Colo., at about 10:40 a.m. Wednesday, and they disturbed a dam of loose rock allowing the release an estimated 1 million gallons of mustard-colored water, according to state and local officials.

Flynn said domestic well users within about a mile of the Animas River should have their wells tested before using the water. He also encouraged people to avoid direct contact with the water until the state environment department says its safe.

Flynn said the mine is a Super Fund Site, meaning the site contains significant pollution. Iron and zinc are the primary known pollutants in the water — but it also probably contains heavy metals, such as lead, and mercury, he said.

But the EPA has not told the state environment department, the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer nor local officials how harmful the waste is, officials said.

And the EPA did not inform the environment department of the spill until about 9:40 a.m. Thursday — almost 24 hours after it happened, Flynn said. State Engineer Tom Blaine and San Juan County Emergency Manager Don Cooper also said in the briefing that the EPA has handled the emergency poorly.

The mine waste surged into a creek in Silverton, Colo., on Wednesday and then flowed into the Animas River. At the time of the Friday morning briefing, the plume of orange pollution was 5 miles north of the state line.

No EPA officials attended the briefing.

Dan Schwartz covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606 and dschwartz@daily-times.com. Follow him @

Joy Endures and by Hope, Overcomes Calamity

Calamity is feared, hated, played into, played down, and ignored; but no matter how we feel about calamity or respond to the possibility of it, calamity is outside human control. Neither science nor philosophy can deter the crushing, life-changing effect of calamity when it decides to strike. Even the righteous are subject to calamity and even those who are wise enough to predict it are seldom able to fully avoid it. The power of personal choice in obedience to God, can maintain personal integrity but our good choices have no power to control the lack of integrity, in the world around us. When Adam and Eve sinned against God, in order to become their own gods and thereby direct their destiny, the integrity of God’s Creation was destroyed. Calamity is the normal state for those who attempt to wrest God’s power from Him and in loving grace, God allows calamity for the purpose of turning His children back to Him, so that He may bless them and strengthen them with an attitude of joy; enabling them with the spiritual strength needed to survive in a world set on destruction.

 

Calamity is the active force of death and death is the final limit God places on human beings, living as gods and attempting to control what human beings will never be able to control. By wresting control of their life and choosing for themselves between good and evil, Adam and Eve lost eternal life and traded it in for temporary life. The same kind of life all must live out, beneath the shadow of certain death. No matter what technology people create, or whatever they rise up to build, all things put together by human hands, will someday come apart.

 

It is easy to observe calamity in another’s life and judge them. None of us want to believe the same could happen to us; but it can and it will. Because of judgment, people suffer personal calamity in silence. They put on a brave face and deny the truth of their broken-ness until, the shattering can’t be hidden any longer. Then calamity rises as a spectacle and people fear then, pray. Some turn back to God and find healing but most turn to denial and seek strength in human pride; not knowing that by doing so they make themselves a prey for an insidious form of calamity that destroys from the inside out. Human beings apart from God can’t endure the sad-happenstance that is normal in this mortal world; and those who persist in the illusions of human god-hood will meet death and be consumed by the final fate that none can avoid.

 

Though calamity in this world can’t be avoided, it can be endured and by hope in Jesus, victory over certain disaster can be won. When calamity comes, we will either respond by giving up or reaching for God. These are the only two choices left for those who by experiencing calamity fully understand their weakness and inability to control outer circumstances. Those who give up will die in torment, having known only temporary life in a world ruled by certain doom. Those who reach for Jesus are restored to God, in a loving-parent-child-relationship that internally, restores the right order and surrenders control to its rightful owner, Father God. The menace of temporary life begins to fade when eternal life is revealed and those restored by it, receive joy; one of the spiritual fruits enjoyed by those who abide in Jesus, nourishes the believer’s spirit and soul. It produces inner strength and enables those who belong to Jesus to endure all calamities, in hope of enjoying life without death in the world to come.

 

Calamity equals loss and what is lost will always be missed. There is nothing more disastrous than losing those we love to calamity, by the hand of death in all its forms, even living death. There is no loss more devastating than to raise an adored child and then see them fall victim to calamity and be destroyed. These experiences of death leave us forever changed but in Jesus, we will not be defeated. Like Brother Job, all we have lost will be restored in the future and we will be blessed to receive even greater blessings. Cups now empty will overflow in a new world characterized by joy. That quality of joy which is produced by faithful endurance and rewarded by hope fulfilled.

 

Ref: The Book of Job