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Posted April 30, 2016
JESUS SAID IT BEFORE MAMA
All photography by Vicki H. Moss
Mama said there would be days like this and before her, Jesus said it in John 16:32-33 when he was warning his disciples that they would be scattered at first during his arrest and death. "Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
So when trouble strikes, why the surprise face and pouty selfie lips? And as writers, we face a lot of rejection anyway. Writing is subjective. There are days when we might feel like shot putting a manuscript into the recycle bin when an agent or editor turns us down because they either don't like our manuscripts or they can't sell them in today's market.
The hard part for me is to feel peace during hard times. Writing rejection is a given. But hard times in this journey called life must come--"say it ain't so" someone has said before me. Sure, Jesus is God's One and Only Son who came to earth in the form of man to show us how it's done. "But I'm not Jesus!" I've been known to say.
After saying those words, I always recall the words of the Savior who prepared us with his message. Then I'm like, "Oh yeah," and then my coffee cup reminds me, "Mama said there would be days like this," too. If we're going through difficult times, we must hangeth the in there beloved friends. There's Light at the end of the tunnel. We can know him in our hearts here on earth but we'll meet the Light face to face eventually if we trust in Him and repent from our sins. Simple as that. Fall down…let us get back up with our double edged sword which is the sword of the spirit--God's Word--to fight another day and keep going. Backslide…love that wicked word ha-ha…but don't love backsliding…leap forward after admitting sins and mistakes and mean it--the key in a nutshell, mean it--God forgives.
The Light is rooting for us, interceding with our Heavenly Father for us to make the final slide for an eternal homerun win. But for Christians today it's doubly hard to write inspirational stories one might say. Think about this: The siblings of Jesus made a huge mistake in thinking their brother was not in his right mind when he was claiming to be the Son of God. But with all of the evidence, the earthquake, and the renting of the veil in God's house during the crucifixion, among other things like many miracles that thousands witnessed over a period of approximately three years, James, too, became a believer that his brother was the Messiah. Hard for him to accept at first I'm sure. We all would have loved to have been there when Mary told James about the angel Gabriel visiting her to tell her she would birth the Savior of the world.
Ignore what the naysayers say because here are the words that James, brother of Jesus and one who finally saw the light after living with the Light, left for us: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does." (James 1:2-8)
There's nothing strange for a Christian when it comes to suffering because even Timothy said in 2 Timothy 3:12, "…do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you" (1 Peter 4:12-14) We are actually blessed from God when we are persecuted. Whoa. Profound statement. Who would say, "Bring it on God. May the trials and testings begin!" But if we don't have trials and testings, we have bland testimonies. Big sigh. Writers need big stories. So prepare to rejoice when the big stories arrive and stay on the path.
"Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matt 5:1-12) That includes when people tell lies about us, speak evil about us, and insult us, and curse us. Tell them to stand in line. The trials and testings reveal whether or not we will remain faithful--and also reveal who is and who is not really saved. And Romans 12:12 tells us, "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."
Consider Paul, a man who was called the greatest Christian who ever lived by some. He said, "I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again." Suffering seemed to move him forward to even greater service. "For Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:10)
When I think of Paul's prison time--who wants that--I think of Chuck Colson who worked for President Nixon and after his seeing the light and repenting of his sins and accepting Jesus as his Savior, his prison time became a platform for him to launch an incredible ministry.
Also consider that Jesus gives a last warning with parting words: "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours." (John 15:18-20)
Don't foget that God has a purpose. He's working behind the scenes. And his purpose is always good for those that love Him. So whether it's a writing trial we're going through or a life trial we're experiencing, we must hangeth the in there. Think about the blind man born blind from birth. When the disciples of Jesus asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus didn't hesitate to reply back. "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
Night is coming. And the death of Jesus put us in the last days. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give it light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken." Just as it was in the days of Noah, it will be too late once the door on the ark is closed, metaphorically speaking. When there is no more light, only darkness, it will be too late.
But who would want to worship a God who needs adoration and allows the evil one to test his children, you might ask if you're not a believer. The answer to that question is a God who wants His children to be a shining light to the rest of the world to show others how we were created to live; children made in the image of God who through trials and testing keep the faith and strive to be holy and righteous to be able to walk with God who is called Yahweh--Father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God seeks holy and righteous children because there is an invisible war going on between the powers of light and darkness. God's creation plays a huge part in that war. Do we fail at times doing what is good and right? Sure. But we strive to be better while trying not to fail. No human being is perfect but we can't let that stop us from trying to be more like Jesus. And when on this right path in helping Yahweh battle against evil, the children of God will long to love the Father who created them and loves them back even more than they could ever love a kind and benevolent earthly father. So write what the Lord puts on a burdened heart to write, now while there's still light and the devil can only stand before God accusing us of our sins while gloating with his evil minions that a child of God has failed at something. Like Jesus, we are not alone. When the disciples scattered, Yahweh was still there with His Son, just as He is always there with his children. And there will come a day when darkness no longer laughs. As I write this the thunder roars!
Therefore, be strong and courageous when penning words to paper. Stand like a stone wall when writing for the Lord. If the birds of the air are provided for, so will all Christians be. Just like the blind man's purpose to be used of God so Jesus could perform a miracle many years after this man's birth for another sign to unbelievers of the times of Roman rule, we, my friends, might have been born to write for just such a time as this. And never forget Jesus said it before Mama--There will be days like this! Have peace about trials and tribulations. God's working behind the scenes. Claim the victory Yahweh's already promised. As my little grandie says after her big sis prays, "Amen sistah!"
If you would like to comment or have questions about this article, email me firstname.lastname@example.org
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