While reading this devotional from (Wonderings of a Pilgrim) written by David Harsha in 1856, Jesus’ words to his disciples came to mind.
“…. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16: 33
Folks, the world is a mess. I cling to any good report, as I’m sure you do, for we appear (on the surface) to be surrounded by evil-doers: they are so to speak, “at the door”. But the truth is, God is in control even when we can’t see it. We’re operating within God’s “Plan A” brethren, for see, God has no “Plan B” for there is no need for one! Everything is going just as planned. The real question is, are we going to trust Him?
I’ve mentioned this before but feel to repeat it tonight; Its been over 10 years now, when while in prayer I asked God what the Spirit was saying to the Church today. I received an answer (unexpectedly) by these verses in Hebrews 3, a warning of unbelief, suddenly coming to mind:
2 Take care, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we share in Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end, 15 while it is said,
“Today, when you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
The generation which left Egypt fell into doubt and unbelief and missed out on what God had for them. With all my heart I believe the Spirit was telling me this is the greatest danger we, the Church, are facing (and will) face prior to our Lord’s return: That of falling into doubt and unbelief. We will cease to trust God, to believe He is in control of any and all situations. If not careful, fear will destroy the faith of many. We will forget, we are “only sojourners” in this world, with a promised rest awaiting us if we persevere in faith (and trust) until the end. Jesus has already overcome the world folks! And God’s not desperately looking to enact a “Plan B” because His plans have been disrupted by evil-doers. Everything is happening according to God’s schedule.
So, are we going to trust Him?
From The Wonderings of a Pilgrim:
We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a shadow, gone so soon without a trace. 1 Chron. 29:15
Beyond this darksome valley of tears and death there lies a bright and joyous region of immortality, where weary pilgrims meet to stray no more. In that happy land their wanderings will have forever terminated, and they shall sit down in everlasting repose under the delightful shadow of the Tree of Life, in the midst of the paradise of God, and enjoy, through the blissful ages of glory, the presence and smiles of that Friend and Savior who, in the tenderest love for them, once poured out his own most precious blood on Calvary, that he might present them, faultless, before the throne of Heaven!
O’ how transcendently glorious must be the future eternal home of the Christian pilgrim! On those golden plains beyond the river of death, rays of divine glory are beaming in full effulgence. There, the Sun of Righteousness is shining in all his meridian splendor, making eternity one constant noontide of untold and indescribable glory and blessedness– a day without clouds. There, our Immanuel shall be as the “light of the morning when the sun rises, even a morning without clouds.”
Eternal day will dawn without a cloud. No gloom or darkness will ever overspread those blissful realms beyond the shores of time. The celestial world will always be irradiated by the glory of God and the Lamb, and the redeemed shall forever bask in the gladsome sunshine of Infinite Love. In that bright home of pilgrims, the Savior will conduct his ransomed ones to living fountains of waters– streams of immortal joys, and God shall wipe away all tears. In the presence of Jesus there is fullness of joy; at his right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has the human heart ever conceived those things which God has prepared for those who love him.
An exceeding and eternal weight of glory will crown every pilgrim who has found the happy shores of Immanuel’s Land. In the Palace of the King of kings, all will be perfectly blessed, and from that “building of God, that house not made with hands,” there shall be no more going out; but we shall forever be with the Lord, beholding his glory and enjoying the soul-ravishing manifestations of his endearing love. O, happy abode of Zion’s pilgrims! O, sweet and pleasant world, where the balmy zephyrs of Heaven refresh the weary soul; where there flows not a tear; where there enters not a pain; where death itself shall be swallowed up in victory! This is the heritage of those who fear the Lord.
But before our feet stand on the blissful shores of the heavenly Canaan, we have to pass through a wilderness. This world is that wilderness, where Zion’s pilgrims wander until they are taken home to glory. It is a thorny pathway that leads to the realms of eternal day; but, by the grace of God, the Christian is enabled to hold on the good way with joy, until he passes through the wilderness and over Jordan, more than a conqueror through Jesus, and takes up his seraphic song of triumph amid the undying splendors of immortality.