The year 2020 has been quite a year! Many of us are mourning the past, concerned about the present, and fearful of the future. As we wrestle with these emotions, a national election is only weeks way. Our country is deeply divided about who has the answers to the problems we face. Each side is passionate, convinced the future of America hangs in the balance.
Recently I was reminded of another crucial time in history. In a season of oppression and injustice, throngs of people gathered to welcome Jesus, the leader they believed would deliver them from Roman oppression. As Jesus rode towards Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey’s colt, crowds lined both sides of the street shouting “Hail to the king who comes in the name of the Lord." They were convinced he was the long-awaited Messiah promised in the Old Testament Scriptures.
As Jesus neared the city, he became overwhelmed with sorrow and wept. In a matter of days, this very same crowd would regather, this time calling for his crucifixion. They expected Jesus to be a conquering King, not a suffering servant. His rescue mission would be fulfilled not by way of the sword, but through a painful death on a cross. What looked like pathetic weakness, was actually strength under control as Jesus willingly laid down his life for the sins of the world.
Today, people still reject Jesus. They too want a savior who will rescue them from oppression, hardship, and suffering. Maybe you can relate. Do you feel like Jesus has let you down? Did something happen you don’t understand?
When I was in my early 40’s, I began having strange symptoms. I was diagnosed with PTSD related to severe childhood sexual abuse. Nearly all the traumatic memories were repressed. When they began to surface, I was in crisis. Flashbacks of unthinkable acts by several family members made me feel dirty and worthless. I didn’t want to live. My circumstances worsened, when this news spread throughout my family. No one knew what or who to believe, and the family was divided.
Today, nearly 12 years later, I am at peace with my story and my faith is stronger than ever before. What happened? In my darkest hour, Jesus came through. He answered my questions, healed my soul, and gave me the ability to forgive. Jesus didn’t save me from suffering, he rescued me through it as I drew close to God, listened to his spirit, and took difficult steps of obedience.
Friends, Jesus Christ is our hope. This is true personally and corporately. We should vote, we should ask God for discernment and cast our ballots accordingly. However, many of the problems our country faces are not only political, they are spiritual with a spiritual solution. No amount of legislation will change the human heart. Only Jesus can do that.
This is why it is imperative for our country as a whole to turn back to God. This past week, thousands gathered at the mall in Washington DC . The event was called The Return. Collectively, those present and millions of others online prayed for our country's salvation.
This summer, a number of women I know gathered to do the same thing. I was in a group like this. Weekly, we repented, personally and corporately, for our sins and asked God for forgiveness. We prayed for our president, our nations’ leaders, and for our loved ones who don’t know Jesus.
I think most believers want to see a reversal in the moral and spiritual decline of America. I am confident this is God's will too. How he will accomplish this is yet to be determined.
I think it is worth saying however, that no matter who wins the upcoming election, or what happens to our economy or personal freedoms, God is still on the throne and his kingdom will continue to advance. The truth is, history has shown revival is most likely during times of suffering and persecution. What if this happens here, in America? How will you respond?
I began this post by asking the question: "Who has God’s Vote in 2020? The answer is you. God is counting on you! Time is short. Over one third of the Bible describes what many refer to as end times. Many prophesies, written thousands of years ago, are being fulfilled. The stage is set. Soon, Jesus will return, not as a suffering servant but as the conquering king coming for his bride. Those who know him, who have followed him their Lord and Savior, will be rescued from the 7- year tribulation. This is comforting isn’t it? While God’s judgement and wrath is being poured out on the earth, the church will be at home with Jesus. God's word says,“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” Can I get an amen!
However, we all know people who don’t know Jesus, who are not ready for Christ’s return. I know it can be tempting to leave this job for the "professionals" or paid staff at your church. The problem is, God is asking each of us to do our part. It is time for "all hands on deck" so to speak.
Can I ask you a question? Are you willing to step up to the plate and let Christ live his life through you? Will you draw near to God during this time of change, and ask him how you can be a part of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ? Feel inadequate? Welcome to the club! Pray! Pray for boldness, pray for opportunities, share your story, meet practical needs, use your God given gifts……finish strong my friend! You will never regret it. However, it is possible to regret missing the chance to serve your king when you had the chance!
View Crystal McVea's testimony. https://youtu.be/CHcaGaf6Zck Crystal's heart stopped beating for 9", and she woke up in heaven. I think her story will blow you away and leaving you wanting more.
Read: The Tipping Point by Jimmy Evans. Jimmy is a pastor. In his book, he shares why understanding Israels history is ground zero for interpreting biblical prophecy. You'll learn why many biblical scholars believe we are at the "end of end times." I think you will find this information both comforting and useful.
Study the book of Revelation. Revelation 1:3 says, "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it." Many people avoid reading this book of the Bible because it can be hard to understand. I found the book When Christ Appears by David Jeremiah a very helpful resource.
Read: Love Gone Wrong by Laurel Bahr, with Lynn Anderson and Jillian Adams, and Mary A. Dietzen Ph.D. In this book, I share a path to recovery for any survivor of abuse by describing my own past as well as the experiences of close friends who have struggled with emotional, verbal, sexual, or physical abuse. The relationships we share are key to understanding how survivors can move on and heal.
Join a Recovery Group. SAVAnon (Sexual Abuse Victims Anonymous) is a nonprofit that offers free, eight-week recovery groups for those women and men who have experienced sexual abuse or sexual assault. I am the Director for SAVAnon and can testify that our program does help participants take a step forward in their healing. Go to https://savanon.org/contact/and for more information about a group in your area.