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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

This Is Not Heaven

Sometimes I have to turn off the TV and stop watching bad news.
Wars, famines, unjust governments, murders, rapes, diseases.
It breaks my heart.
And if I feel so very bad about these things, what must the Lord of heaven feel?

I want to beat my breast and plead with the Lord, "Why, Lord? What do such terrible things happen?
Please stop this evil!"

Today I was reading in the book of Revelation. In chapter 13, scripture describes a beast that resembles wild animals. People will worship this beast. He will be proud beyond imagination, and a hater of God.
One verse struck me: "He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation." (Rev. 13: 7)

Why would God allow such an evil person to conquer His own people?

Later, in verse 10, we read, "This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints."

I tend to think that life will go smoothly if I worship God, do right in my community, serve in my church, obey the government.
But in some parts of the world—and I believe it will be the case in America soon—doing right will not reap any civic reward. Instead, those in authority will come against those who do right by honoring Jesus Christ. Because Jesus Christ stands in the way of their own quest for total domination.
We should not be surprised.
Jesus was hated by His religious contemporaries because they rightly saw him as a threat to their control.

For whatever reason so great and mysterious that I cannot fathom, God has allowed misery to continue to flourish in this physical world. (When will it end?)
As long as we sojourn here, we are not in heaven.
This is the domain of the one who Jesus conquered. This one's time is short, and he will wreak as much mayhem as possible until his final punishment.

Hurricane Sandy's will keep ravaging nations.
Pandemics will sweep the world.
Evil rulers will inflict misery on their subjects.
There will always be corruption.
There will always be unfairness.
There will always be people who have, and people who have not.

Presidents and prime ministers, and parliaments, and congresses, and the United Nations will never be able to legislate or tax or fine or penalize or control the sin that is in the hearts of men.

Because this is not heaven.
We should never place all of our hope on any human ruler to bring an end to injustice or human suffering.
Let's keep our eyes focused on the Lord and the justice and healing He will bring.

"I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.'" Rev. 21:2-4 NIV Bible)

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