“I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. And it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of his discipline: Let them sit alone in silence beneath the Lord’s demands. Let them lie face down in the dust, for there may be hope at last. Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them and accept the insults of their enemies. For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow. If people crush underfoot all the prisoners of the land, if they deprive others of their rights in defiance of the Most High, if they twist justice in the courts— doesn’t the Lord see all these things? Who can command things to happen without the Lord’s permission? Does not the Most High send both calamity and good? Then why should we, mere humans, complain when we are punished for our sins? Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord. Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven and say, “We have sinned and rebelled....”
Lamentations 3:20-42 NLT
Jeremiah the prophet laments the destruction of Jerusalem, the beloved city of Israel, after the Babylonian invasion of 586 B.C. His heart sinks in sorrow as he looks at the condition of his beloved homeland.
Lamentations is a book of weeping by the “weeping prophet” Jeremiah. He grieves over the place he lives that now lies in ruin and under enemy control. What happened? Israel continually ignored God’s law and judgment has come.
What about us? What is happening? God has allowed the nation we love so much to be inflicted with this awful plague and we watch as the news casts continually feed us with negativity and fear. Our land has been assaulted and we are reeling as we stagger in response to this blow. We, too, like Jeremiah should be broken in our hearts as we see what is happening. We must repent of our sins, turn to God in fasting and prayer, and cry out for His mercy. His mercy alone can redeem us from destruction. Only God can resuscitate us and stabilize our condition. When He does, we will recover! We must pray for our President, Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, our Congress, our Supreme Court, our many designated leaders of various departments, our Governors, State and Local authorities, our Pastors, and each other.
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.”
1 Timothy 2:1-4 NLT
The hope we have is in Jesus Christ!!! His mercy can save us!
What we must do is turn from our stubborn, sinful ways and return to righteousness.
“Then one night the Lord appeared to Solomon and said, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this Temple as the place for making sacrifices. At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:12-14 NLT
This is the true path to restoration!
Will you join me in repentance, prayer, and fasting? Will you take time as we near Resurrection weekend to humble yourself and seek the face of God in prayer and fasting? The church needs to beseech the the throne of God’s grace for the mercy we need to overcome.
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
Hebrews 4:16 NLT
This should not be done for selfish reasons. We must truly repent of our own sins and the sins of our nation. May I remind you that we expelled God from the classroom in 1962, slaughtered over 60 million babies in abortion since 1973, ordained homosexual marriage in 2015, and the churches are assaulted by an ungodly, unbiblical ideology. We are a stanch in the nostrils of God. We need repentance!! True preachers cry out against this wickedness! True churches recognize the deplorable condition of our nation. True believers should be heartbroken as we look out across the landscape and consider our plight.
Now, let me conclude with this:
I am not afraid! God is with me and all who truly know Him. Yes, I am broken and my heart aches as I look at society. However, I know that God is able to do exceeding and abundantly above all that I ask or think.
“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.”
Ephesians 3:18-21 NLT
For those whose hearts are right with God and who seek His kingdom, good things can come because of their prayers.
God is looking for such people.
“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him...."
2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT
“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.”
Luke 12:32 NLT
Are you one of them? Are you walking in step with the Master? Is your life lived in submission to His Word? Are you truly aware of your own sins and the sins out our beloved land? If so, please join me in genuine repentance on behalf of our churches and nation. Push back from the table as the Holy Spirit gives you instruction and seek the face of Jesus. Let’s move from association to consecration!
“In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.””
Jeremiah 29:12-14 NLT
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Matthew 6:31-34 NLT
Will you seek God with me? Please join me in this most needful discipline before God!
Curtis R. Norris
Rev. Curtis Norris