Tuesday, January 6, 2015

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
    "That at that time ye were without Christ...having No Hope and Without Hope in the world." (Eph 2: 12) The picture painted by St. Paul of the state of unregenerate man is by no means pretty!
      Without Christ! Having No Hope! And Without God in the world! I can't think of anything worse than being alienated from God's love and grace, to be shut out from His presence!
      Whatever the situation, there is HOPE if a person has contact with God! Even when troubles, tragedies and great difficulties arise there is Someone to go to with those problems.
      Without that spiritual resource, it is no wonder people feel hopeless. It is sad that folks struggle with the battles of life alone, when they could take advantage of the mercy, grace and healing power of God!
     Many have hit the bottom spiritually, physically, economically, as well as domestically. And they have given up! Here is good advice for us all: Hold in there - tomorrow will be a better day. The trouble will soon blow over, and time has a way of healing everything!
     It is true, unprecedented problems face mankind daily in the struggle for survival, fulfillment, peace of mind and happiness! Vast numbers of homes are breaking up due to economic pressures, alcohol involvement, unhappiness and family feuding!
     Again, there are many who are facing life and death battles with cancer, heart disease, sugar diabetes, multiple sclerosis or some other illness. Fear of what the future may bring preoccupies the minds of many elderly, especially those who are incapacitated and frail!
     Our young people are inundated with temptations that are so devastating, destructive and engulfing, we never even dreamed of in our youth! Economically, times are tough and getting tougher. Soon there will be no free lunches. There is no doubt about that!
     However, there isn't any use crying over spilt milk because if you do, you will only hurt yourself. An old adage says, "If you laugh the world laughs with you, but if you cry, you cry alone."
      I go along with Dr. Don Gossett, who said, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going!" Positive thinker, Dr. Robert Schuller, wrote a very successful book called, 'Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Always Do'.
     In it, he tells of the hard times endured by his family, and that faith in God  brought  them through. Bedrock faith in God's Word will always do the job and bring the much needed healing!
    And although many young people have been destroyed  by Satan's wily temptations and deception, there are great numbers who strong, straight and a credit to God, parents and country!
      The hymn writer penned the words:
Faith in God can move a mighty mountain
Faith in God can calm a troubled sea
Faith will make a desert like a fountain
And faith will bring the victory
So have faith in God, have faith in God
Yes, my friend, have faith in God
       Dr. Oral Roberts said, "You can't go under for going over." And, I believe that! There is no earthly or unearthly power that can destroy us if we have our hope and trust in Christ, and our faith anchored in God!
      St. Paul wrote: "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor death, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom.8: 38, 39)
      The great Jewish crusader wrote of the persecutions he was enduring gladly for Christ: "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." (Acts 20: 24)
     Again, St. Paul wrote: "In nothing being terrified of your adversary." (Phil.1:28) and, "There are many open doors but there are many adversaries." (1 Cor.16:9)
     The Christian life is not a picnic. There are real trials and real battles with the world, the flesh and the devil. There is, however, complete victory for the total man, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. He is our righteousness, life and hope. There is none other!
     My hope is built on nothing less
     Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
      I dare not trust the sweetest frame
      But wholly lean on Jesus' name
      On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
      All other ground is sinking sand!
      Only a very foolish and short-sighted person would ignore the invitation of our Lord and reject the great mercy of God. May we all place our trust in Him. He said: "Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give ye rest." (Matt. 11: 28) Amen.