Every time I look at the headlines in the newspaper or watch the news on television, it saddens me to see how this world is declining so rapidly. Many people have become lovers of money, lovers of evil, and even lovers of themselves. Some individuals have no regard for human life, whether the human is an adult or even a newborn baby. Even in my short 32 years on this planet, I can see the numerous changes that have taken place since the 1980’s. Some of these changes have been good; however, some of them have simply led to destructive ends. In reality, this world resembles a sinking ship. I am so thankful that I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to carry me through the storm. He is my Peace for the present and Hope for the future. Jesus Christ is the Lifeboat for all who believe in Him.
Looking back in history, there was another time when the world became corrupt to the point that God wished His Creation did not even exist. There was so much wickedness on this earth, the Bible says, “The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled” (Genesis 6:6). Just imagine. The humans on earth had gotten so evil that their very own Creator regretted creating them and was troubled by what He saw. Only one man was found to be worth saving. God’s Word goes on to say, “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8).
But Noah: those two little words saved a family’s life forever. Noah was found to be faultless. He was different than the rest of the population. Let’s just say he stood out from the crowd. God saw something special in Noah and his family. Genesis 6:9 reads, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.” I’m sure Noah wasn’t perfect. He probably slammed a few doors in his time and he may have gotten upset if one of his sons didn’t do their chores the first time they were asked. But he didn’t engage in wicked deeds and sinful ways. Noah trusted God and knew that the Lord would take care of them.
What would you do if God came to you and said that He was going to destroy the earth because of the destruction people had brought into the world (Genesis 6:13)? Would you make a phone call, Facebook about it, or just sit down and cry? Well, this actually happened to Noah. But he didn’t question God. He didn’t have a panic attack either. He didn’t even Tweet about it or text his best friend to tell them the news. Instead, he listened intently to all of the instructions, detailing the size of the ark that he was to construct, what animals to bring aboard, how much food to pack, and all of the other tasks that must be completed. Then the Bible says, “Noah did everything just as God commanded him” (Genesis 6:22). Noah didn’t just do half of the job and then sit down to watch his favorite program on television. He didn’t delegate someone else to do the job. He simply did what God asked him to do.
So many times, we complain about jobs that the Lord asks us to do. Sometimes, we are tired and it’s hard to find energy to get the job done. Other times, people often try to discourage us, even though we know God has enabled us for the task at hand. I am sure Noah was discouraged when his friends laughed at him for building an ark. They had never seen a flood like that before. They surely thought Noah had lost his mind. What would your neighbors think if they saw you building a big boat in your front yard, standing tall at approximately 45 feet high? I am sure the Neighborhood Beautification Committee would have something to say about that at their monthly meeting! Look at Noah, building that atrocity! And bringing all of those animals so close to where our children play! Something must be done to prevent such outlandish behavior!
But God had asked Noah to accomplish a monumental task. Noah ignored the backlash from the opposing side and immediately obeyed God. He didn’t tell God that he had to fit it in between watching the Sunday afternoon football game and improving his golf swing at the range on Saturday. He didn’t tell God that he just didn’t have the energy and would try to get around to it next week. He didn’t even tell his neighbors what was going on. He just got the job done. Oh, and Noah didn’t try to cut corners when building the ark. He accomplished the task precisely as God commanded. Noah did all of this without complaining, even at the age of 600 years old.
God provided a lifeboat, so to speak, for Noah and his family, along with two of every clean animal. Everything else was destroyed. Because Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord, he and his family were spared. God tells Noah that the rainbow will be a sign of the covenant between God and all life on earth, promising never to destroy the earth by flood waters again. The rainbow is a promise not only to Noah and his family, but also to you and me. God will be our Shelter from the storm. Just as this world seemingly spirals out of control, we have a safe haven in the midst of the tumultuous seas. Every single person, young or old, who puts their trust in Jesus Christ, will be saved.Whatever you are going through right now, there is no situation too hard for God to handle. Jesus even told His disciples, “‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’” (Matthew 19:26). God is greater than every prison, every hospital, every nursing home, every bottle of alcohol, and every other thing that may try to pull you away from the love of Jesus Christ. The Bible says that nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:39). He will rescue us when the raging waters rise. He will be our beacon in the night, directing us toward safety. No matter what you are facing today, remember that Jesus Christ is your Lifeboat.
In Christ’s Love,
Did you know the bark of the average Redwood tree is up to one foot thick? Due to the extraordinary thick bark, along with their high water content and lack of resin, Redwoods are able to more successfully resist the destruction of forest fires. Additionally, the tannic acid in the bark helps Redwoods resist disease and insect infestation. Redwoods are not indestructible, but they do have many characteristics that help them thrive in the environment in which they live, despite the turmoil that may develop around them.
In truth, we are a lot like the Redwood tree. Just like this towering tree that endures through hardship, we have the tools we need to stand up against all negative influences we encounter. Just like the Redwood is protected by its bark, we have protection through the armor of God!
Ephesians 6:11 states, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Every day, we are going to face situations that tempt us and cause our faith to waver. Just like the Redwood that often faces fire or infestation; we encounter illnesses, negative opinions, and other things the devil uses to try to alter our beliefs.
The Bible says the devil is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8). But if we have on the full armor of God, we can stand up against every curveball the devil throws our direction. God’s armor will protect us in the same way that the Redwood finds protection through its outer covering of bark.
In the book of Ephesians, Paul adds one more aspect of the armor of God. It isn’t enough to simply have the tools. You have to have the divine intervention of the Holy Spirit. He says, “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18). I am reminded of the popular t-shirt sold some time ago in Christian bookstores that said: “Seven days without prayer makes one weak.” How true this is!
Without prayer, our lives become even more susceptible to attacks by the enemy. We find ourselves losing patience with other people, struggling to get out of bed in the morning, and having an overall negative attitude. But through prayer, we can see our mountains turn into molehills. Our storm clouds will turn into rainbows. And our trials will turn into testimonies. Prayer is the direct line of communication we have to the throne of grace.
You may be going through a battle of your own right now. It may be that a loved one is knocking at death’s door. You may be trying to figure out how to make ends meet, with only enough money to cover the electric bill or the mortgage. Your car may be on its last leg, your job may be in jeopardy, or your children may be engaging in illegal activity. I want to encourage you today. Pray about your situation. Ask other people to pray with you. God’s Word says that where two or three are gathered together in His name, there will He be in the midst of them.
Through prayer, hearts can be mended, lives can be transformed, and miracles can happen. No matter what you are going through, there is nothing too big for God. No place on this planet is out of the reach of the almighty God. He is watching over you. Have faith that He will see you through.
Every morning when you get out of bed, put on the armor of God. Buckle the belt of truth around your waist, put the breastplate of righteousness on your chest, and place your feet inside the readiness from the gospel of peace. When the flaming arrows of the enemy come to harm you, let the shield of faith be your extinguisher, just like the Redwood bark dissuades fire in a forest. Finally, place the helmet of salvation on top of your head and grasp on to the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).
God does not expect you to go into battle alone. Just as He has given the Redwoods the ability to survive undesirable conditions, He has given you everything you need to reign victorious, whether you are in the sunshine or the rain. So stand firm in every situation, allowing the armor of God to protect you from all harm. Then you, too, can stand tall like the Redwoods, knowing that God is on your side!
In Christ’s Love,