February 2024 Article

   Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

 

   February of 2024 is here and what a year it looks like it is going to be! I think it is pretty safe to say that we are living in dangerous times. At the time I sat down to write this article, the presidential Primary Season has started, the war in the Middle East is ever widening, the war in the Ukraine is still ongoing and threatening Europe, and there is an ongoing fight between Texas and the U.S. government over securing our southern border. All that, really, is just to start off our year. So, what will the rest of the year look like? Well, nobody has a crystal ball, but one thing we can count on is that it is going to be an interesting year. 

 

   I’m pretty sure that Christians all through the ages at times felt uncertain, afraid, or worried about what will happen with the government, with war, security, and so on. Some of our greatest theological works and moving writings have come out of hard times and times of uncertainty for Christians. But pretty much one thing they all have in common is their reliance and need for the church and the common bond of fellowship with other believers.

 

   Jesus once said, “In the world you will have trouble.” Notice he didn’t say that we “may” have trouble, or “might” have trouble, but that we “will” have trouble. To be sure Christians have lived through wars, famines, pestilences, and times of persecution. We may see those days again, and what will get us through is the fellowship we have with God, the Father, and Jesus, and each other. Jesus finished his saying with, “But take heart, for I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33). Jesus overcame the world through his suffering and death on the cross. To many of us, we may think that is the kind of overcoming we would like to avoid for ourselves, but in actuality, it is exactly how we also overcome this world.

 

   As Christians, we live in this world no matter what government is in power. We live in this world no matter the conditions or whatever persecutions may happen to us. Our job is to remain faithful to our calling as Jesus’ disciples as we bear witness to his word, and if need be, overcome the world in the same way. The promise of the Gospel is not that God will give us health, wealth, and prosperity in this life, but that God will deliver us alive into his presence because of what Christ has done for us on the cross. Through faith in Him, he will deliver us alive into his presence when we overcome the world ourselves. As Jesus told the Church in Sardis, “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels,” (Revelation 3:5).

 

   Whatever may come upon us in 2024, let us stick together as brothers and sisters in Christ, helping each other keep on the full armor of God and our eyes fixed on Christ, especially as we begin our Lenten season this February. Though the world may fall apart around us, Christ Jesus has lead the way for us to follow.

 

   May the peace of God guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord,

   Pastor Rob