“When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more, but the righteous is established forever.” (Proverbs 10:25)
We have all had hard times in our lives, but sometimes it seems like wave after wave of bad news keeps crashing against us, giving us little time to catch our breath. This year has felt like that to many, maybe even you.
Sometimes, in the midst of that constant barrage, we can begin to feel like we are losing our grip, like the darkness will swallow us, and we will be lost. Can I point to some hope in these times? “When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more, but the righteous is established forever.” (Proverbs 10:25)
What a great verse to remember for 2020. Every tempest and storm in life passes. The question we need to answer is, will we be standing on the other side? For the follower of Christ, the answer is an exuberant “yes!”
The tempest in your life might not be a person, it might be sickness, or financial troubles. It could be heartbreak, or maybe loss of a loved one. These too will pass. The sin which has brought into our world death, destruction, disease, calamity, and wicked people has been defeated upon the cross.
One day soon, the Lord will return and the storm will pass. One day, all will be made right in this world and all evil, and every effect from the fall will be brought to perfect righteousness.
The tempest will pass. Cling to Jesus in the storm. But if you feel your grip begin to slip, don’t worry. He is holding you firmly in his hands. And nothing can snatch you away.
“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him:…a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”
(Proverbs 6:16, 19, ESV)
Social media is sometimes a dumpster fire and Christian social media is often worse. It grieves my heart when I see a “perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord” (Prov. 6:14), but especially when it comes from the keyboard, computers and microphones of those who should know better.
Yesterday I saw a post on Facebook that sought to destroy, discredit, and malign a servant of God. The comments were filled with venom and hatred. The arrogance and pride was astounding. The flesh was in full force and all of this was done supposedly in the name of “truth” and for the honor of God! I understand there may be issues and doctrines of which we might disagree, but where is the grace in all of this rage?
My fellow Christians, there is much wisdom in correcting, and even rebuking a brother when they have erred. But how we do it is just as important as the need to correct. Some people become keyboard commandos and hatchet men when they are on their computers–saying things that they would never say person to person, or even out loud.
Solomon’s warnings show that just as dangerous as the adulteress (Prov. 5), a foolish pledge (Prov. 6:1-5), and a lazy lifestyle (Prov. 6:6-11), are the crooked and perverse words that seek to destroy (Prov. 6:12-19).
In Revelation 12:10, Satan is called the “accuser of our brethren.” I pray that we have a clear understanding of the testimony of our words before the world and the Lord. Soemtimes I wonder if Satan is delighted to just let us go on and on with our destructive words tearing down the body of Christ with our own hands.
I leave you with these sobering words from James as a good reminder to us all:
“but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.”
“Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:25–27 (NAS)
Staying on the path seems easy enough. But somehow it isn’t as easy as it seems. In John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian is met by Goodwill who explains to him the need to follow the narrow path:
“And therefore good Christian, come a little way with me, and I will teach thee about the way thou must go. Look before thee; dost thou see this narrow way? That is the way thou must go. It was cast up by the patriarchs, prophets, Christ, and his apostles, and it is as strait as a rule can make it; this is the way thou must go.” “But,” said Christian, “are there no turnings nor windings, by which a stranger may lose his way?” “Yes, there are many ways down upon this, and they are crooked and wide: but thus thou mayest distinguish the right from the wrong, the right only being strait and narrow.”
As Jesus taught, the gate and the way are narrow that lead to eternal life, and few find it. There are many obstacles and distractions that tempt the Christian to temporarily stray into the broad path.
The wise and godly watch their path, seeking to make corrections as they move forward. The Word of God is the guide, shedding light upon our way. It is when we stray from the path and go beyond the revealed will of God that we will find that we will find the most danger.
However, the narrow path does not promise that there will be no dangers or snares. As a matter of fact, the pathway can be a favored target of the evil one. But the Lord is not only our light, he is also our shield and comfort.
Where are you standing today with God? Have you strayed from the Lord and are you walking according to your own foolish counsel and wisdom? Have you found that your poor choices have produced painful consequences, and now you are thinking that it is probably time to return to Christ? What are you waiting for? Our Heavenly Father awaits you with open arms.
Are you walking with God, but are finding that the narrow road is also a hard one? In the days we are in, living for Christ is becoming more of a challenge. Be encouraged to know that many have walked this pilgrim path before you. Hebrews 11 serves as a great reminder of the hardships others have faced, but are greatly outweighed by the worth of the glory of heaven:
“And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:32–40 (ESV):
Fellow pilgrims, stay on the path. Whether you see victories and foes vanquished or temporary suffering for Christ, in the end, we shall receive the promises of God and the journey will be over, for we shall be home!