Encouragement

"Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the LORD and against His anointed one. 'Let us break their chains,' they cry, 'and free ourselves from slavery to God." Psalm 2:1-3

This verse sounds like today, doesn't it? Actually, David wrote this psalm during one of the many rebellions he experienced against his rule as king. Rebellion against God is as old as, well...Satan's rebellion in heaven,

"How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. For you said to yourself, 'I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God's stars I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High." Isaiah 14:12-14

Thrown out of his place in heaven, Satan set out to destroy God's creation in the Garden of Eden by corrupting the creature who was created in God's image--Adam and his helpmate, Eve. First, he provoked Eve to question God's word, then he tempted her in the way he always tempts mankind. 

"The. woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her." Genesis 3:6a

There it is. The three ways that generate all rebellion against God's order--the lust of the eyes (tree was beautiful), the lust of the flesh (fruit looked delicious), and the pride of life (wanted wisdom equal to or better than God). Eve chose to disobey God's command and believe Satan's lie, awakening in her a desire for the fruit of the tree. Temptation is ready to nail us when we choose to believe a lie. It takes choosing faith in Jesus to free us from the hold of sin and its consequences--to make us righteous.

God, the Creator of the universe, is sovereign. Every war from the beginning of time is a rebellion against His order. Consider the current state of the world. Threats of war abound across our planet, although the media of today spotlights only a few. Does the nightly news cause your stomach to churn? To fear? Be anxious? Fill you with discouragement?

We must remember Satan was put under a curse.

"Then the LORD God said to the serpent, because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live. And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel." Genesis 3:14-15

In this first prophecy about Jesus, God said Satan would wound Messiah's heel (the cross and resurrection), but Jesus would ultimately deliver a mortal blow to the enemy of God's holy purpose. 

Psalm 2 contains another messianic prophecy. Its initial intent was for David, but it also refers to the Son of David, who is the Lord, Jesus Christ, and the purpose of His coming at the end of days.

"...I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession. You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots." Psalm 2:8-9

Prophecy is encouragement to those of us looking for the blessed hope of Jesus'return. We must resist the temptation to fret when we hear reports of wars and rumors of wars. We must put our faith in God's promises and believe. We must fight against discouragement when we see certain nations lining up with the intent to eradicate Israel. God is not surprised, nor disheartened. He identified them long before in Ezekiel 38. And, when we witness the descent of our country from the place of moral influence and world power it once held, we should remember we are not mentioned in the prophecies of the end of days. Only God will stand with Israel and He will deliver them. 

What should we do? 

"Serve the LORD with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling." Psalm 2:6

Serve the LORD.  What does that look like?

First and foremost, I believe, we are to exalt Him in worship, respectfully recognizing He is Holy...Almighty God...Creator of the universe...Father of Love.

And, we ought to pray.

Pray and love God with our whole hearts, minds and souls.
Pray and love others as we love ourselves.
Pray and humbly submit to His will in our lives.
Pray and stand firm in our faith in Jesus.
Pray and speak/share the truth in love.
Pray and shine the light of Jesus to all mankind.
Pray non-stop and constantly rejoice in Jesus and His finished work.
Pray and patiently endure ________(whatever God has called each of us to).
Pray and receive the comfort of the LORD.
Pray and comfort others with the comfort we've received--the hope that is in us.

Perhaps there has been no other time in our lives when prayer has become as vital as it is today. Jesus is coming again...soon. May He find us, His bride, expectantly waiting with abundant oil of the Holy Spirit in our lamps, spreading an incandescent message of forgiveness and hope.

"Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him." Psalm 2:12b

by Marilyn Allison