Heal My Land
Are you, like me, weary from all the bad news from around our country and the world? Natural disasters and disease have devastated millions. Financial disasters have wiped out fortunes, retirement accounts, and businesses. Political upheavals are pitting brother against brother and value system against value system. And yes, as the Bible predicted, there are wars and rumors of wars.
What is going to happen to us! How will all this play out? Have we, as some suggest, brought about God’s judgment upon our nations because of our sin and disobedience? Questions, worry, and fear fill our hearts and minds. What are we to do? Simply stated, the answer is prayer.
Recently at my church’s Men’s Fellowship Breakfast, jovial conversation turned from sports to our world’s economic woes. We shared our thoughts with each other about how these times are affecting our families. One Brother asked, “Why us? Why now?”
An elderly gentleman who has served God all his life stood up, and with confidence that overshadowed his humble voice proclaimed, “The Lord has never let me down. If we pray, He will help us make it through.”
The word of the Lord says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV).
How can our nations be saved and survive the many disasters in our midst? Do you share my frustration because it seems like our society will not do as God instructs and pray, repent, and humble ourselves before Him? How can we expect His favor when we live any way that we want, with little regard to the word of God? Is there hope for those who follow Christ according the word of God and not pop culture? Yes! Yes, there is hope!
Remember, scripture applies to us individually, and not just corporately as nations. As God honors His word to each obedient individual, then a portion of that nation is blessed. The more individuals who appropriate God’s word, the more that nation that will be blessed. However, it all starts with one. So I ask you to personalize the scripture as I did, and allow God to bless you and heal your land.
“If (Gene) _____, who is called by my name (Christian), shall humble himself, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from his wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive (Gene’s) _____’s sin, and heal (Gene’s) _____’s land” (2 Chronicles 7:14 Personalized).
Though the entire world around us crumbles, the Lord will honor His word to us, if we will heed it. Put your name in the blank, in the scripture. Seek out what you must do to heed His word and God will fulfill His promise for you!
If you align yourself with the freewheeling secular world, then you shall reap with them, suffer, and share in their despair. But if you align yourself with the truth of God’s word, then He will give you peace, and see you through the tough times that try men’s souls. He will make a way for you where there is no way. Your house shall be an oasis in the desert, an ark of safety in a world flooded with crisis.
“Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10 KJV)
The Scars Are All Part of a Beautiful Story
By Debbie McDaniel
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
If you’ve ever been wounded, or have felt like you needed to hide the scars away from painful times in life, know that you’re not alone. Even Jesus faced great insults, wounds, and pain more than we could ever imagine. And He carried His scars right back into that little room where He met his disciples after the Resurrection. Sometimes I’ve wondered why He didn’t choose to let the scars fade away. He’d gained victory over death. He’d made all things new. Yet He still had scars in his hands, His side. (Read the whole story here in John 20:19-29)
Maybe He knew we’d need to be reminded of this truth throughout our own lives: His scars, and ours too, are all part of His beautiful story at work.
He sets free.
He gives great purpose even through seasons of brokenness and grief.
And the scars are left there to prove it.
We have victory through Christ Jesus, our Savior and Lord.
Don’t ever doubt, He knows your way, He understands your pain. He promises to use your every scar and broken place to share his message of hope to a world that needs healing and grace.
Peace to you today.
You are held by a Mighty God, and He has good still in store…
“Without shedding of blood is no remission” Hebrews 9:22
Suggested Further Reading: John 6:52-59
Here is a garden dark and gloomy; the ground is crisp with the cold frost of midnight; between those gloomy olive trees I see a man, I hear him groan out his life in prayer; hearken, angels, hearken, men, and wonder; it is the Saviour groaning out his soul! Come and see him. Behold his brow! O heavens! Drops of blood are streaming down his face, and from his body; every pore is open, and it sweats! but not the sweat of men that toil for bread; it is the sweat of one that toils for heaven—he sweats “great drops of blood!” That is the blood-shedding, without which there is no remission. Follow that man further; they have dragged him with sacrilegious hands from the place of his prayer and his agony, and they have taken him to the hall of Pilate; they mock him; a robe of purple is put on his shoulders in mockery; and mark his brow—they have put about it a crown of thorns, and the crimson drops of gore are rushing down his cheeks! Ye angels! the drops of blood are running down his cheeks! But turn aside that purple robe for a moment. His back is bleeding. Tell me, demons, who did this. They lift up the thongs, still dripping clots of gore; they scourge and tear his flesh, and make a river of blood to run down his shoulders! That is the shedding of blood without which there is no remission. Not yet have I done: they hurry him through the streets; they fling him on the ground; they nail his hands and feet to the transverse wood, they hoist it in the air, they dash it into its socket, it is fixed, and there he hangs the Christ of God. Blood from his head, blood from his hands, blood from his feet! In agony unknown he bleeds away his life; in terrible throes he exhausts his soul. “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani.” And then see! they pierce his side, and forthwith runneth out blood and water. This is the shedding of blood, sinners and saints; this is the awful shedding of blood, the terrible pouring out of blood, without which for you, and for the whole human race, there is no remission.
For meditation: Even with the shedding of Christ’s blood there is still no forgiveness of sins unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood (John 6:53); that is by coming to him and trusting in him (John 6:35).
“Surely men of low degree are a vapor, men of high degree are a lie; if they are weighed on the scales, they are altogether lighter than vapor … if riches increase, do not set your heart on them … power belongs to God.” – Psalm 62:9-11 NKJV
Trusting in other people can seem so natural, so inevitable. We trust in banks and businesses, governments and experts, neighbors and relatives. But the Bible reminds us that even the most stable things and people can change. Even the smartest, best-intentioned people are imperfect.
David said that no one is immune. First, people “of low degree are a vapor.” Just like a vapor, they can vanish quickly. But people “of high degree” are no better. They “are a lie.” In fact, “they are altogether lighter than vapor.”
Many people react to this unstable world by throwing themselves into work. They seek to gain more power, possessions, and money. In this pursuit, some are willing to resort to stealing, cheating, or deception to get ahead.
But David reminded us not to “trust in oppression, nor vainly hope in robbery” (v. 10). Remember how quickly possessions and money fade away: “If riches increase, do not set your heart on them” (v. 10). David said that God told him repeatedly that power belongs only to Him.
In your life, remember that other people may disappoint you. But God never disappoints. The Bible encourages us to look at Him as our rock, our salvation, our stronghold. The things of this world may vanish like a vapor, but He is eternal. You can “trust in Him at all times” (v. 8).