Why do the wicked prosper??

I know most of us are wondering what in the “h-e-double-hockey-sticks” is going on around here in our world. Our glorious U-S-of-A is crumbling around us, and it seems as if we are unable to prevent the eventual fall and demise of our global standing in the world. How did we get here? Why can’t we stop the destruction and hate that’s going on right now? Why are “good people” suffering right now? Why are the wicked prospering and succeeding in terrorizing people of this land??a58f26e6fcf5abc233660ed57d9d82cf

There are more questions than answers right now for many of us, and quite frankly, I’m not sure what we can do about it. It seems as if our protests and our voices are being heard, but not in the direction or with the impact in which we would like for it to be. Our cries and screams for justice is going up and coming down with no impact… our prayers, our tears, our hopes, our fears are being crushed and realized all at the same time.

How does the wicked prosper?? I have been wondering for so long why “bad people” can sail through life doing as they please without any obvious repercussions. It unnerves me to no end to see how these usurpers are destroying everything we’ve worked so hard for with a stroke of a pen with no valid explanation given… only lies and lies upon lies… and nothing else. Take it or take it… basically. We can’t leave it because we live here, we are being forced to accept executive decisions and orders being handed down by a wanna-be dictator in training. It is truly disgusting!

fb8f6cb2aa4c47cb139054c69c72c1ccAs I was contemplating writing this, a verse popped up today on my Bible App and the verse says, “Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall” (Psalms 55:22). I want to take solace in that… matter of fact I need to take solace in that because there is nothing else left for me to do. I am distressed when I read the news, I’m distressed when I check Twitter, I’m distressed when I see reposts on Instagram… and I deleted my Facebook app so I wouldn’t check it and get distressed from that. In all actuality, I would really love to live in a bubble… in a protective layer against all hurt, harm, or danger… but then I think about God’s word… and in the Bible, he says that he does not give us a spirit of fear. We are not to rely on man for anything because when we start to fear man, we are going down the wrong path. Man does not make the rules… although it may seem as if man is having his way with reality, but if we really think about it, man has no control over anything… he can’t control if he wakes up in the morning, and he can’t control staying alive all day… what man is doing is just abusing the assumed power given to him… but as quickly as that power came, it can be taken away.

In the Bible, Jeremiah asked God a question: “You are right and good, O Lord, when I complain to You about my trouble. Yet I would like to talk with You about what is fair. Why does the way of the sinful go well? Why do all those who cannot be trusted have it so easy?” (Jeremiah 12:1)

In Psalms, this topic of the wicked is brought up again, and this is what the Bible says about the wicked.

Don’t worry about the wicked
or envy those who do wrong.
For like grass, they soon fade away.
Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.
Stop being angry!
Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm.
For the wicked will be destroyed,
but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.
Soon the wicked will disappear.
Though you look for them, they will be gone.
The lowly will possess the land
and will live in peace and prosperity.
The wicked plot against the godly;
they snarl at them in defiance.
But the Lord just laughs,
for he sees their day of judgment coming.

(Psalms 37)

I realize that God is allowing these things to happen… be it for fulfillment of his promise of his return or something else that prophecy has foretold, but whatever it is, we cannot let fear of man consume us… yes, we should speak out, yes we should protest, yes we should not back down from demanding justice… but also know, that as furiously as we protest and resist wicked and evil, we also should know that God’s purpose and his will cannot be stopped.

de022ce18d310c6c4f4b094dceae4b44In my weekly bible study group, we recently had this topic of conversation come up about why evil and suffering occurs in the world.  As we were studying “Reason for God” by Tim Keller, we came to know the million dollar statement that most people say or think in regards to this topic: “I cannot believe in a God who would allow this evil and suffering to happen to me.” Enduring any type of pain, suffering, or evil is never easy and even harder to sometimes explain to someone who cannot see or refuse to see God’s purpose in everything that happens. Tim Keller suggests that we 1.) Listen compassionately 2.) Respond with empathy 3.) Do not give a reason for the pain, suffering or evil. Even with all of these protests and detainments in the airports, we have to remember to respond compassionately to people who have been affected by this evil and hatred. We have to put ourselves in their shoes and feel what they feel. We should never give a reason as to why this is happening because we honestly don’t know… we just have to trust and believe that God knows all and sees all, and he will not let the godly fall and slip.

We then discussed, “is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Or is he able, but not willing?” Many people, right now especially, want immediate alleviation from the pain and suffering. Most often we don’t understand why this pain and suffering is even being allowed in the first place. Tim Keller states that this question of whether God is not able or unwilling to stop the bleeding has a false premise that preventing evil is better than permitting evil. He also states that this has a false premise that God doesn’t have a purpose in the suffering/evil/pain that’s being allowed. One thing that I’ve realized is that God is all powerful, all knowing, and ever present. He will not leave us or forsake us. Yes, this is hard. God never promised our lives would be easy. He did however, promise that we would never be alone. We cannot allow man to be the dictator of our fears, emotions, or thoughts. We have to help each other stay strong, find resolutions and solutions to problems we can figure out and allow God to open those doors and change hearts and minds of people where we cannot.

a32590a43036fa2366841aef24c2fc13God does care about what’s happening! We have to remember, God suffered the ultimate sacrifice of giving his only begotten son to be killed for our transgressions. He had to watch his son be tortured, whipped, prodded, stabbed, and killed without stepping in and taking it away… through that sacrifice, we were made whole! We were given a way into the kingdom of God, to be with him through all eternity. This earth is temporal. It will pass away. We should look toward the future of what is to come and what is in store for us in heaven… we should not give up on justice, fighting for what’s right and fair… but also know that God has our back! “Suffering drives us like a nail deep into God’s love and into more spiritual power than we can imagine.” (Tim Keller) Now that we are all in the same boat, let’s get close to God more than we’ve ever had… and lean on him for strength, guidance, wisdom, and comfort during these hard trials. God has never led us astray, and he never disappoints. b8cc8076444b49065c3419cd8db0ae04

I leave you with this verse to meditate on… and I ask you to pray for our nation! Pray for healing, and pray for strength!

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

(Psalms 1:1-6) 

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Ring in the New Year with Joy!

1a6668c998641231d035590d12551d71As the New Year have rang in, we sometimes look for this to be our motivation to restart, recharge, re-motivate, renew, start something fresh, purge, cleanse, destroy, rid, and devote more time, attention, money, cares to something we hold dear in our hearts.
The New Year is a perfect time for all of that. However, we shouldn’t wait just until January rolls around to start something new and fresh. We shouldn’t keep old and bad habits with us because the new year has come through. Sometimes we are hanging on to bad things in our lives longer than necessary because we’re waiting for an external push to make us get rid of it.
There should be some internal fire and self-determination to make your life a little better everyday.
As I was reading one of my devotionals, it says that “joy” is a choice. Thinking about that, I have to agree.  It is a choice. I am in control of my feelings, reactions, and emotions. I often allow my circumstances and situations to dictate how I’m feeling, and that should not be the case. God gave us the spirit of “joy” as a fruit of the Spirit. We choose to allow things to hinder us and our relationship with God, along with other distractions because of our choices in our emotional responses to how life treats us.
f5e8bd81a47ecbe31561f7d03252e1c0We have to be careful because our lives can possibly bend and change as the wind blows. Being on an emotional rollercoaster like that is detrimental to our mental health! We cannot control other people and their responses… we can only control our responses. Our facial expressions. Our thoughts. Our behaviors. Our emotions. Our responses. We have to mentally and sometimes physically choose to do things different.
I remember when I was in the midst of a storm in my life, and at first I reacted to everything. I was mad all the time. I was irritated. Depressed. Sad. You name I did it. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, and I couldn’t keep my brain from jumping to the other side and providing a fast quip or snarky comment about anything. I was collapsing and going crazy for about a year.
Then one day I had to face the ultimate test, and from that point on I realized that no matter what happened I had to trust God. I had nothing left or nothing else to give. I was exhausted and tired of disappointment. I realized that this is happening because I haven’t allowed God to fix the situation. I kept jumping in, along with all of my two cents I had to provide. When I finally realized that how I was feeling was being fed by relentless negativity I decided to just shut up. Literally. I didn’t say anything and only responded in very short limited explanations. This allowed me to reserve my most useful responses in other areas where it would serve me better. Once I learned this, a peace of understanding flooded my senses… and I was then able to put all of my trust in God and not fear the unknown that I wouldn’t be able to control anyways.
f917342c8119bf516da649445a63f262So my advise is just to choose “joy.” You can also pray to God to help you uncover the joy that you believe may be lost or you just simply cannot get past the disappointments in your life. He will be there for you and help you recover your joy. He will bring about a peace of understanding and you will be able to see for yourself how trusting God in all of your situations gives you joy! I’m a witness! Test God! He won’t let you down!
Do you need joy in your life today?  All you have to do is call on the name of Jesus and he will give you what you are looking for. His name is the sweetest name I know, and there is no one who can give you what you need besides God. Call on his name! He will answer you!
Psalms 5:11-12
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
    that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
 For you bless the godly, O Lord;
    you surround them with your shield of love.
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