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From Dr. Michael Brown:
It is true that there is a lot of bad news in the world today, and much of it comes as a direct assault on our faith. Radical Islam is rising. Aggressive atheism is spreading. Much of the church in the West is backsliding, and our culture is rapidly deteriorating.
But from the bottom of my heart I can honestly say that I am not in the least bit discouraged. In fact, I am more encouraged and hopeful in the Lord at the age of 59 than I was when the Lord saved me in 1971 at the age of 16. The best is yet to come!
Here are 10 reasons why I am full of faith and hope:
1. God is ruling and reigning from His throne. There is no fear or anxiety in God’s presence, nor is there the slightest trace of worry or concern. The purposes of God will come to pass, and He will work out His plan on the earth. Although His heart grieves because of human sin and suffering, He is the undisputed King of the universe, and in His presence there is fullness of joy (Ps. 16:11).
2. Jesus is Lord. The name of Jesus remains the highest name in all creation, and at His name, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess (Phil. 2:9-11). If this was the only thing I knew, namely, that Jesus died for my sins, rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven, I would rest secure and be full of anticipation and expectation.
3. In the end, God will vindicate His people. I honestly feel sorry for those who fight against God’s purposes, knowing that in the end, they will be the losers—and the ultimate losers, at that. We who love and serve the Lord will shine like stars while they will fade away into darkness (Dan. 12:2-3). We should pity them rather than fear them.
4. Everything Satan and this world mean for evil, God can turn around for good. It’s really hard to overuse Romans 8:28: “Now we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose” (TLV). Often, in the Lord, the very worst things that happen to us become the best things, and that which was intended to destroy us backfires in the enemy’s face. In Jesus, stumbling blocks become stepping stones.
5. God is doing amazing things in the earth today. It is true that Islam is spreading and that false religions and cults continue to grow. But for decades now, the greatest spiritual growth taking place worldwide is in born-again, Spirit-empowered circles. The harvest continues to be reaped at an unprecedented pace, and even in countries like Iran, countless tens of thousands are being saved every year.
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