So many lies. So many secrets. So many things hidden, covered and disguised in order to fool, to deceive, to manipulate. So much fakery and hypocrisy. So many pertinent facts and details willfully withheld, and purposefully omitted, in order to deceive naïve and unsuspecting minds and/or to protect the dishonest, the crooked, the shady from being found out and having their dishonest dealings uncovered and the truth exposed.
Persecutions and Afflictions
We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure. This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. 2 Thess. 1:3-5 NASB
We live in a time of great deception. Even within the gatherings of the church, liars, manipulators and deceivers abound, even among the leadership in many congregations. Many pastors are even being trained in manipulation, in lying, in deceiving, in trickery, in using gimmicks, marketing schemes, and in how to use people to their advantage and in how to dismiss them if not needed any longer, or if not wanted altogether.
So many people are caught in a web of deception, trying to cover their tracks, clearing their internet browsing history, lying about their behaviors, faking one thing while living another. So many people living in sin, addicted to sinful practices, unwilling to tell the truth, unwilling to repent, to own up to their sins. So much betrayal, abuse, adultery, deceit, story-telling, conniving, cheating, taking advantage of others, hatred, violence, killing, raping, and mind-games going on in this world of ours, in our homes, in our governments, and even within the church.
In America, our government portends one thing while lives another, or is in reality something different entirely from what they project to their citizens. They are hypocrisy personified. The real deficits they are complicit for are their shortfalls in telling the truth, in revealing pertinent facts, details and specifics about their comings and their goings, their history, their actions, etc. Some things have come out into the open, but they represent a very small percentage of the truth. So much is still shrouded in fakery, in lies, in entertainment, in distractions, and in twisting of truth in order to deceive.
The real shutdown of our government that has taken place is not in the temporary halting of some minor government functions, but it is the obstruction of truth, the undisclosed secrets, the hidden agendas, the deception concerning our history, and the withholding of information or details about historical and current events and their participation in these situations.
The real shutdown is all the deception about this nation, and by our government, and with regard to all their abuse and mistreatment of others, and all the killings, the raping, the destruction of lives, property, lands, the persecutions, and the coups of governments that have taken place, at their hands, and which have been covered up, blamed on others, and represented falsely so as to make them look like the good guys and the others the bad guys, when it is the other way around.
A Christian Nation
Our nation is called a Christian nation, and yet our leaders are persecutors and murderers of Christians. Many people in this nation call themselves Christians, and even pastors, and yet they, too, manipulate, kill, steal, cheat, abuse, betray, use others to their advantage, and then lie about it, cover it up, then fake Christian lives, or fake good behavior, while they are doing evil behind closed doors, or while they are hiding their histories in order to protect their own reputations, unwilling to repent for fear of being found out, discovered, and the truth brought into the light and exposed.
And, because all this is going on, many people are being taken advantage of, killed, raped, cheated on, lied to, deceived, manipulated, and betrayed, etc. The government in the USA is betraying and cheating on their own citizens by their union with the New World Order beast of the wealthy and powerful of this world, and who they work for in bringing the world into submission to this beast. Many pastors are manipulating, mistreating and abusing people in their churches, and even their spouses. And, many church members are mistreating one another, lying to each other, and cheating on their spouses.
So, this is written to encourage those who are being mistreated, lied to, abused, persecuted, betrayed, and taken advantage of, for the sake of the name of Jesus Christ and his gospel of salvation. You are commended by God for your perseverance and for your faith in the midst of all these persecutions and afflictions, and for your love you show to one another, despite how you are being treated, in return. Your faith and your love and your perseverance in trial will be rewarded, so don’t give up, and don’t lose heart, for you are sharing in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, and these sufferings are not without purpose, but good will result from them.
To Give Relief
For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed. 2 Thess. 1:6-10 NASB
If you are suffering persecution and abuse for your testimony for Jesus Christ, one day you will have complete relief from your suffering, when our Lord comes again to receive his bride to himself and to judge those who don’t know God and those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord. Then, he will wipe the tears from our eyes, and we will have no more pain. Amen!
He will take out his vengeance against those who afflicted and persecuted us for our walks of faith in Jesus Christ, who did not repent of their sins, and who did not turn to our Lord in obedience to his gospel. Since they chose to protect themselves from the light of the truth, while they were on this earth, they will be cast away from the presence of the Lord for all eternity.
Work of Faith
To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thess. 1:11-12 NASB
But, it isn’t as though we can’t have some element of relief while we are still here on this earth. He can heal our broken hearts, and free us from the burdens we bear, and take away the sting of it all from our hearts, and he can fill us with his peace and with his joy, and we can learn to rest in Him, and lean on him, and believe in his sovereignty over our lives despite whatever turmoil we might be facing here on this earth until He returns.
And, not only that, but we can grow through these times of suffering, becoming more like Jesus, and we can learn more how to love others with his love, and have hearts of compassion for the hurting, and we can mature in our walks of faith, and learn perseverance, and learn, too, to depend on God and not on ourselves. And, God can use our sufferings, too, in the lives of others to encourage their hearts, and for the advancement of his gospel and of his kingdom work. So, it isn’t all without purpose.
Sometimes God will allow us to go through these tough times to make us into the people he wants us to be to be used for his purposes in the lives of others, so he calls us out into the deep, and he stretches our faith, and through it all he strengthens us in purpose, and he uses us in ways we never thought possible. For, when we are weak, we are strong in him and in his mighty strength, when we put on the armor of God, and we walk according to the Spirit, and we don’t give up, but we keep persevering in what God has called us to do, without fear of man or what he (they) might do to us.
Oceans / Hillsong United
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders…
Friday, February 9, 2018, 5:57 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for these encouraging words, these words of hope, of purpose, and of healing.