Thursday, November 24, 2016

TIME TO REBOOT..... TO HOPE

Senior citizens in the west are treated as almost a disposable group. I have seen in first hand, in over a decade of ministering to and at Senior; Retirement and nursing homes. To be fair, many residents in these homes do need professional medical and other care which they may not be able to receive at home by themsel
ves. However the Lord has a great message for those feel lost, lonely and neglected.  If I had a dollar for every person who told me that our service to them, on a regular monthly basis, makes it easier for them to get through the week, I would be a rich man (in worldly terms).

There is a way for those who are aging, as we all are, to turn to the Lord, get out of the funk they're in..... and just reboot. The great inventor Thomas Edison, founder and creator of the functional light bulb and the record player, once lost over $1 million in property and equipment when his place burned down in West Orange, New Jersey. Think of all the things this genius inventor lost in that fire. One million dollars in 1914 was a huge fortune. Yet Edison said the following “there is value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Now we can start anew!”

Imagine how different things can be for folks in their later years….and even the modern depressed younger generations, if they just turned to the Author and Perfecter of our Faith – the Lord Jesus Christ? His Words, the Words of the Father, inspired by the Holy Spirit are the Trinity of Excellence – timeless and true for all ages of all time. Yet, only even 9-11% of Christians even have the Biblical worldview necessary to live in that peace, joy and contentment. Look at the powerful teaching and encouragement from even a small portion from the Prayer Book of the Bible – the Psalms. Psalm 71:9-14 is the plea of a person who is older. Yet, the Scriptures applies to everyone and a young single mom, or a soldier away from home can place his or her name in there and have the same power from Above as the plea reaches heaven.
Psalm 71.
9    Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
Do not forsake me when my strength fails.
10  For my enemies speak against me;
And those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together,
11  Saying, “God has forsaken him;
Pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him.”
12  O God, do not be far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
13  Let them be confounded and consumed
Who are adversaries of my life;
Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor
Who seek my hurt.
14  But I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.
The inspired author is asking for the Lord not to cast him in Psalm 71:9 (Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength fails). Sometimes the combat vet with extreme PTSD returning home, or the abandoned teenage girl under peer pressure or the young father struggling to pay medical bills for both his autistic son and an indigent parent DO feel unwanted, unloved and without a lifeline.  Sometimes it feels as if the silence from Heaven is even more overbearing when you’ve spent most of your Christian life talking about the goodness and trustworthiness of the Father. Yet, no help is around the corner.

In times like these, we do not just stop there in verse 9. We do not jump in with the crowd, who sound eerily like Job’s friends and the unbelievers who mock Christians and tell us “God has forsaken him….there is none to deliver him” (Verse 11). We press on. We pray on. We persevere on. We never give up.

We keep reading on and praying ahead and looking up and forward saying, as in Verse 12 in an even MORE intense plea “Oh God do not be far from me….make haste to help me!”  There is nothing wrong with desperate prayers, because if we stick with it. If we stay faithful. If we never ever give up, give in or throw in the towel. If we lift our eyes up unto the hills from where cometh our help...from where our help cometh from the Lord, the victory will come. Though weeping may endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning.

We may be in pain - young, old, middle-aged. We may feel forsaken. We may see the mocking and the scoffers making fun of our faith. We may even question our faith but HOLD ON! But look at what's coming! HOPE! Hope never dies! Faith is substance AND evidence so we do have a hope.

Look at verse 14 "But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more"! That's powerful. Sometimes the thing we are praying for never gets answered or is answered in the negative. We never turn back because the Eternal City lies beyond Jordan! The Eternal City where the King lives across the cold running river with its unknown currents and turns. But we have Hope based on the substance of our Faith. This will never leave us stranded.

The bottom line is this - when the rubber meets the road and when trouble comes, reboot! Yes - start anew! It matters not if we are 75 years old, retired on a park bench feeding pigeons at 9 am or a 25 year old in the drive up line for a morning Java - start anew. Hope is around the corner. Reach out and grab it! Start anew by grasping for the Ancient Words from the Ancient of Days - Holy God. By doing so, a new God-ordained paradigm, which will immediately come into alignment with the Plans and Purposes of God to confirm our Hopeful Future! Glory to His Name. 
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