Remember and Persevere
"But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, 'In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.' But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life."1
A man who flew his own plane, or so the story goes, got tired of the long automobile trip from the airport to his country cottage which was situated on a lovely lake. So he equipped his plane with pontoons so he could land on the lake in front of his home. However, on his first trip with his newly equipped plane, he headed for the airport as he had always done. As he was going in for the landing his terrified wife yelled, "What are you doing? You can't land on the runway ... you don't have any wheels!"
"Fortunately, he was able to swing his plane around and head for the lake. After he landed safely, he heaved a big sigh of relief and turned to his wife and said, 'That's about the dumbest thing I've ever done!' Then he opened the door, stepped out of his plane—and fell directly into the lake!"2
I doubt the validity of this story but it does illustrate how easily and foolishly we forget.
How quickly the ancient Israelites forgot how God miraculously delivered them from slavery in Egypt, how he parted the Red Sea for them to cross safely, and how the pursuing Egyptian army was drowned ... and as soon as things got tough en route to the Promised Land, they grumbled, they doubted God, and they criticized and blamed Moses.
And how quickly so many who live in the U.S. forget—forget the basis of our incredible blessings of freedom, liberty, and opportunities; how our nation was founded on Biblical principles; how Western law is based on the Judeo-Christian ethic and the Ten Commandments; and the reason "In God we trust" is engraved on our money!
Furthermore, when we get too comfortable, we easily forget that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. We criticize and blame even good leaders when things don't go the way we want. And to our peril we are seeking to throw out the Bible, the Ten Commandments, and anything that resembles God and Christianity. And how quickly we forget that "blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."3
And how quickly I forget the blessings of God when things go wrong in my life—and even when things go well.
Suggested prayer "Dear God, in the words of the hymn-writer Robert Robinson: 'O to grace how greater a debtor daily I'm constrained to be! Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee: Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here's my heart, O take and seal it; Seal it for thy courts above.' Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Jude 1:17-18;20-21 (NIV).
2. From Illustrations Unlimited. Cited in Encounter magazine (Australian edition). www.actsweb.org/au.
3. Psalm 33:12.