God still commands the chaos

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And the [first] beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months…  Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them…and by the signs that [the second beast] is allowed to work in the presence of the [first] beast, it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.  And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.  (Revelation 13:5, 7a, 14-15)

Ungodly authority, violence and conflict, deception and false miracles, persecution, state-sanctioned murder: this is chaos.

As the book of Revelation continues to unfold the unraveling of human society in the end times, it seems like things are getting darker and darker, worse and worse, and it seems like for the people of God, everything is falling apart.

Does your life ever feel like that?

Take note, then, that even in the midst of such hardship and trial, there is a common thread running through this entire chapter: “it was allowed.”

We may never understand in this life just why God allows certain things.  We may feel we would do differently, or wish there would have been an easier way.  As we try to process the hard circumstances of our lives, this is a normal reaction and a natural place to start.  However, it doesn’t have to be the place we finish.

Christian, know this.  No matter how crazy things look down here, God is still in control, watching over your destiny from above!  No matter how dark things appear from your perspective, God is still overseeing and working all things together for your good in Christ.

So, in the midst of whatever turmoil you may be facing, this is God’s word of hope to you today, sent by the Holy Spirit through the prophetic pen of John.

God still commands the chaos.

–Pastor Phillip

Jesus is completely in control

Jesus Christ [is] the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.  (Revelation 1:5)

The world is run by rulers of all sorts and kinds.

Some are elected representatives, and others, self-appointed tyrants.  Some lead by example and others rule by force and fear.  Some act in ways that honor God and benefit their people, while others use their authority for selfish ends.

Yet, none of the rulers of earth truly have the final say.  Jesus does.

Whatever the political landscape looks like today, remember this.  Above every earthly power sits the exalted throne of the risen Christ.  Above the authority of every grand emperor or petty politician is the rulership of the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

He is infinite in power, boundless in wisdom and altogether good.  So, even when governments seem to run unchecked and societies seem to come unhinged, you can take comfort in this liberating truth…

Jesus is in complete control.

–Pastor Phillip

Jesus will surely hold you up

[Jesus] is the radiance of the glory of God, and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power.  (Hebrews 1:3a)

From starfish to stars, goldfish to galaxies, Jesus holds the universe together.  He is both Creator and sustainer of all things, and nothing slips by His notice or through His fingers.

Do you think He can handle your problems?

Make no mistake, Jesus did say those who follow Him would face hardship in this life, but He also promised you would never have to go it alone!

Right now, this moment, Jesus sees and knows and cares about your situation.  Not only that, but He is willing and able to sustain you through ’till the end.

Whatever you’re facing today, be encouraged by this truth: Jesus will surely hold you up.

–Pastor Phillip

God is still on His throne

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 11

GOD IS STILL ON HIS THRONE

The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven;
His eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.

(Psalm 11:4)

All around us we see chaos in the world.

Wars and rumors of wars. Famines, earthquakes and floods.  Social injustice and oppression of all kinds.

But God is still on His throne.

In our own lives we see chaos of all kinds.

We lose jobs and loved ones.  We experience failure and fear.  We struggle with doubt and discouragement.  We battle sin and temptation.  We wrestle with sickness and disease.

But God is still on His throne.

What can you do when the world around you and the life within you seem out of order?  How can you have hope when it seems like nothing is lining up the way it is supposed to?

You can remember that this moment is just that, one moment in the river of time.  You can remember that this lifetime is just that, one lifetime in a sea of eternity.  You can remember that these things have always been, and until Jesus comes again, will always be.

But that’s not all.  You must remember that God has always been faithful to preserve His people.  He has always been gracious to His children and seen them through even the darkest times.  You must remember that His love is everlasting and His forgiveness never ends, and nothing, nothing, nothing can ever take you out of the palm of His hand.

More than all of these things, though, remember this.  God is sovereign over all the universe, and His wisdom far, far outweighs yours and mine.  You may not like or agree with how He chooses to run things right now, but you must remember that He is good, and that He will work all things out for your good and His glory in the end.

You may not understand what or why things are happening all around you, but no matter what, you can find hope in this truth: God is still on His throne.

-Pastor Phillip


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God is your higher help

You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord! He is their help and shield. (Psalm 115:11)

Don’t just give your worship and reverence TO God; find your peace and strength IN Him, too.

He is not a detached overlord who cares only about allegiance and obedience. No, He is a loving and protective father who wants the best for His children.

Even though we may not always feel this way, and though we often find ourselves in circumstances we don’t understand, we must remember this: God sees the end from the beginning, and He knows what’s best for us far better than we do.

When we embrace this truth, it brings us peace because it reminds us that there is someone who has a much greater power and perspective than we do, and He is in our corner.

Trust in Him today as you rest in this reality: God is your higher help.

-Pastor Phillip

God still commands the chaos

Scripture Notes on Revelation 13

And the [first] beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months… Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them… and by the signs that [the second beast] is allowed to work in the presence of the [first] beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.  (Revelation 13:5, 7a, 14-15)

Ungodly authority, violence and conflict, deception and false miracles, persecution, state-sanctioned murder: this is chaos.

As the book of Revelation continues to unfold the unraveling of human society in the end times, it seems like things get darker and darker, worse and worse, and it seems like for the people of God, everything is falling apart.

Does your life ever feel like that?

Yet, even in the midst of such hardship and trial, note the common thread that runs through this entire chapter: “it was allowed.”

We may never understand in this life just why God allows certain things.  We may feel we would do it differently, or wish there would have been an easier way.  As we try to process the hard circumstances of our lives, this is a normal reaction and a natural place to start.  However, it doesn’t have to be the place we finish.

Know this.  No matter how crazy things look down here, God is still in control, watching over your destiny from above.  No matter how dark things appear from your perspective, God is still overseeing and working all things together for your good in Christ.  In the midst of whatever turmoil you may be facing, this is God’s word of hope to you, sent by the Holy Spirit through the prophetic pen of John.

God still commands the chaos.

-Pastor Phillip

God never stops looking after you

Scripture Notes on Psalm 121

He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalm 121:3-4)

An old children’s song declares, “He’s got the whole world, in His hands; He’s got the whole wide world, in His hands…” but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.

When hard times come, seasons of loss or dark nights of the soul, it can feel as if God isn’t really there at all, or if He is, that He must not be paying attention.

It’s in those times that the very survival of our soul depends on believing the promises of God. We hang on to all He has spoken through His Word, because this is our true and faithful anchor of hope.

The truth is, no matter how much it may seem like it, God will never abandon you! He will never check out on you! If you’re in Christ, you can take courage in any situation because of this powerful truth.

God never stops looking after you.

-Pastor Phillip

God is in complete control

Scripture Notes on Psalm 115

Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases. (Psalm 115:2-3)

Do you ever look at a situation and ask “Where is God in this?” Do you ever look at hard things in your life and wonder, “Couldn’t God have stopped that tragedy or prevented that pain?”

It is natural to feel these things, and to experience the frustration of our limited point of view. Yet, there is hope to be had once we have the right perspective.

“Our God is in the heavens” doesn’t mean that He stands far off, aloof and uninterested in human affairs. It means that He is there, watching over you, taking care of you in even the smallest details. It means that God knows.

Not only is He aware, but God is able to do whatever He pleases. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all good, and there is no circumstance in your life that He is not able to enter into and transform for the good.

So why do we still have pain? Why doesn’t God just fix things for us instead of allowing us to hurt?

Any number of theological answers can be offered, but underneath them all is this simple truth. Your heavenly Father is far greater in wisdom and goodness than any of us could hope to be. His ways are not our ways, so we may never fully understand this side of heaven. What we can do, though, is look to the cross.

In Christ, God has demonstrated His perfect love for you and for me. When our hearts are filled with that reminder, our minds can be at peace as we rest in this simple truth about our loving God.

God is in complete control.

-Pastor Phillip

The Structure and the Source

Sometimes Jesus can be such a downer.

In Mark 13:1-2, the disciples comment on the glory and beauty of the temple, and rather than join them in admiring the structure and stones, He replies, “Do you see these great buildings?  There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

Indeed, the word of Jesus was fulfilled in 70 A.D. when the temple was destroyed by the Roman empire, whose soldiers actually did tear apart one stone from the other in order to extract for Rome’s treasuries as much as possible of the building’s ornamental gold.

Read moreThe Structure and the Source

Jesus in a Corner

What happens when you try to back Jesus into a corner?

He won’t let you. (Read Mark 12:27-33 as the chief priests and scribes have their plan backfire.)

Jesus will not be put on trial or made to answer charges brought against Him or questions as to His right to act as He pleases.

Do not put God on the witness stand of your mind and demand He give an account for Himself to you, or the answers you receive may well leave you more confused than before.

Trust Him and follow Him.  Listen to and obey Him and He will prove His authority in His own way and time, not by words, but by actions.

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