Monthly Archives: November 2020

Be Ye Thankful

This year has been very difficult for almost everyone. In my own case, at the beginning of the year, my own family suffered a very personal loss of a dearest loved one. I am not alone in that, I know, as many others have faced the same trials and have not even been allowed to put them to rest as a family. We have faced government supression of worship and people are now afraid of one another because the government and news media have stoked a unreasonable fear of a virus that has a ninety-nine percent survival rate. As lockdowns persist, depression and suicides are up and alcohol addiction has increased. We have faced killer hornets and a near collision with an astroid. Our political system is in an uproar, cities are burning and we may well be on the verge of another civil war. How can we be thankful in the light of all these calamities?

Each of us, if we examine our lives, will still find many things for which we can be thankful. We can be thankful for our portion of health. Do you have vision? Have you enjoyed a beautiful sunrise or sunset lately? Be thankful. Do you still hear? Have you heard a little, innocent child laugh or heard someone say “I love you?” Or have you heard a beautiful piece of music? Be thankful you have your hearing. Do you still enjoy good food? Did you enjoy a good Thanksgiving meal? Be thankful for taste. Do you have money in the bank? Be thankful? Do you have a family who cares about you? Be thankful. Do you miss someone very badly? Be thankful they were in your life and filled your life with love. On and on the list could go of simple things that are truly great blessings.

Yet life can be cruel. We all face trials. My trials may be different than yours but it is just as great a burden on me as yours is on you. Nevertheless, James tells us to count it all joy when we fall into divers temptations knowing that the trying of our faith worketh patience (James 1:3). In fact, Peter tells us we should rejoice that we are partakers of Christ’s sufferings (I Pet. 4:12). Early Chritians rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name (Acts 5:41). The Lord said they are blessed who are reviled for the name of Christ (Matt. 5:10-12). Jesus further said in the world we will have tribulation but that He had overcome the world (John 16:33). So can we because faith is the victory that overcomes the world (I John 5:4). No suffering now is even worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:18). We may sow in tears now, but we will reap in joy (Psalm 126:5).

No matter how bad it may seem, no matter how bad it actually is, there remains hope for the Christian (Rom. 8:20), a hope the world does not have (I Thess. 4:13). That, by itself, is plenty of reason to be thankful.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations (Psalm 100:4,5).

Eric L. Padgett

How Long, Oh Lord, How Long?

We are up against an evil in the United States (and in the world) the likes of which we haven’t seen before. Oh, he has been around for a long time, but he has been subtile in how he worked. He has had his bold moments. In the garden, during Noah’s day. Especially at the cross. But mostly he works subtily and preys on weak minds and sick hearts. He sows the seeds of corruption in the field of righteousness and no one notices until it is too late. He has stolen the hearts of many people, young and old, through the education system and though entertainment media, just like he stole the heart of Eve with the desirable forbidden fruit. He has gotten people to be complacent and at ease with prosperity and distracted many with social media trivialities.

Now he is out in the open, brazenly attacking truth, and goodness, and decency. He has gotten many people to believe they never had to speak out or to speak up or to stand up. Soon they won’t be able to. If you think the censorship of big tech was bad before, just wait. Just wait. Because you won’t be able to speak out or speak the truth because it will go against the good of the state. You didn’t like the so-called “shelter-in-place” rules but you complied. Now they will control where you go and whom you meet and how many people can meet together. If you preach against immorality, you will be silenced. You didn’t like the mask, but you gave in and wore it. Now you will literally be muzzled. NOW YOU WILL SUBMIT TO THE STATE! Don’t think for a moment this is an exaggeration. If you think that, then you are like the frog in boiling water and can’t see how far along you’ve been cooked already.

However, perhaps this is happenning “to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men” (Dan. 4:17). We have demonstrated that we, as a people, cannot be responsible with God’s blessings and have given them up for pleasure and convenience. We knew God, but glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in our imaginations and our foolish heart was darkened (Romans 1:21). The world has been turned upside down. Men call evil good and good evil. We have professed to be wise and have become fools. Instead of building the walls with a sword in hand ready to fight, we have laid down the sword because we didn’t want to offend. We have sheathed the Sword of the Spirit, we have taken off the whole armor of God and held hands with the devil and swayed to music of tolerance and sang Kumbaya, thinking we could appease him. We have fallen asleep in the lap of Jezebel and soon our strength will be cut off. We think we are at peace but we are dying in our sleep and our peace is an illusion. And the devil laughs. When will we wake up? Or is itoo late? I wonder.

I hope and long and yearn for the return of the Lord “when He shall have put down all rule and authority and power” (I Cor. 15:24). I am tired. I am sick and tired of the devil’s lies and wicked ways winning all the time. I am sick and tired of warning and crying out only to be laughed at or patronized while we continue to see sin and wickedness advance and grow stronger every day. I am ready, Lord, for it to come to an end. I am ready, Lord, to see that old serpent and death and hell cast into the lake of fire. “O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever” (Psalm 74:10)? How long oh Lord, how long? But until then I will fight and I will speak out with what little voice I have. As long as I have breath, I will fight the battle for the mind and soul for myself and others, if they will hear. I hope you will too.

Eric L. Padgett