By Christine Darg
Concerning Israel and the eminence of the Second Coming, people in general don’t know God’s divine appointments through his annual festivals. And here we are celebrating a New Year on a calendar set up by Julius Ceasar and adjusted by Pope Gregory. God is on another calendar altogether, but also because he exists outside time, we can reach him by calling out to him moment by moment.
As Bible believers, let’s look ahead and stay focused, be courageous and not lose enthusiasm. Winston Churchill once said, “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm!”
A biblical optimist sees opportunity in trials– knowing that God always defeats every evil regime.
Let’s be action-oriented in 2022–the people who KNOW God will be strong and do exploits! (Daniel 11:32b)
In his book “United States of Fear,” psychiatrist Mark McDonald has diagnosed the U.S. as suffering from mass delusional psychosis, driven by an irrational fear of what is now a rather innocuous virus. For decades, government, corporations and powerful individuals have engaged in a systematic “grooming” effort toward irrational fear addiction. Without fear, we can’t be robbed of our freedoms.
Meanwhile, I received this important prayer exhortation from a friend in the UK:
Dear Christine, Thank you for your inspired Bible-based messages filling us with hope! I cannot remember a time when, as a Christian, I have felt so isolated and lonely. The group of Christian friends with whom we can pray in agreement at this time of confusion, deception and oppression has got very small. It causes me shock and sadness to see so many Christians accepting so easily everything they are being told by government and media. The spirit of fear took over their lives. No questioning, no resistance, only blind obedience. They don’t want to hear or consider different views and fact-based research. Like David in the Bible, I have had to encourage myself in the Lord when all around is doom and gloom. I thank the Lord for bold men and women who have spoken against the enemy’s agenda, trying to wake up people. I and a few others I know are praying that more and more scientists, doctors, ministers, educators, politicians who are right now in strategic positions for just a time as this, to rise up and speak up. May the Lord protect them and their families as they decide to make a stand and end their silence. There is too much discouragement, frustration and disappointments around us, but we know that the joy of the Lord is our strength. HE is our strong tower.
Action stations! The LORD when he called Moses did not appeal to Moses’ intellect or humility… Instead God simply stated “I will be with you” (Exod. 3:12). That is all any of us needs in 2022….the Presence of God Himself!
Word for 2022: “Watch therefore, for you don’t know when the lord of the house is coming, whether at evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning. Beware lest He should arrive unexpectedly and find you asleep. And what I say to you, I say to all– Watch.” [Mark 13:35-37]
This month in December as Peter and I recovered from covid that we’d contracted in Jordan, I experienced a renewed love of the Nativity story — I had much time to rest and to meditate. I do love the Feasts of the Lord, and the Sabbath but also I have a deep theological appreciation for the Lord’s Day because it weekly commemorates the Resurrection.
I enjoyed “Christmas” [an unfortunate description due to the RC “mass” aspect] this year as the reality of the Nativity took on renewed and deep meanings.
There was a time in my ministry fervency over Hebrew Roots when I was indignant against aspects of “Christmas.” I could quote you how the Puritans rejected it. Of course I’m not ignorant of the commercial holiday’s pagan elements, that the Birth is celebrated at the wrong time, etc., yet as many Christians have tried to demonstrate to Israel that we reject “Christmas,” this can come across as a bit hollow. In fact, I’ve received so much blessed revelation about the birth of Jesus, fulfilment of Bible prophecy, to the point that I don’t believe the depths of the Nativity can ever be plumbed, and I’ve enjoyed listening to multiple sermons concerning the Lord’s incarnation, birth, his dedication as an infant in the temple, the mystery of the Magi, Bethlehem’s Migdal Eder, the massacre of the holy innocents as a way of Satan trying to stop the redemption narrative, etc.
In short, I have an appreciation of the Nativity aspects of the Gospel which should not be ignored. My parents taught me to memorize the Nativity account in the Gospel of Luke, and the verses increasingly bless me with great poignancy and meaningful reality. Matthew’s account is equally riveting. Without the Nativity, which probably happened in the fall in the Feast of Tabernacles, all the Jewish festivals could not receive their fulfillments. As many Christians look down their noses on “Christmas,” think about this irony: Messianic leader Daniel Juster came to a saving knowledge of the Lord–how? By being part of a school choir that sang “O Holy Night.” So God’s ways are past finding out. As the Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 2: 16,
“Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.”
Now beloved friends, as we enter 2022, let us as believers REJECT fear and determine to live a life of faith, looking for the Blessed Hope of the Lord’s appearing. There are so many media predictions concerning new covid variants, the possibility of the discovery of aliens, and imminent war. Actually such days ahead will surely serve to grow our faith versus past decades which were not so challenging to our faith walk.
I particularly appreciate this exhortation from my friend Bishop Daniel Williams:
I WILL ARISE! “When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The Lord will be a light to me.” Micah 7:8 NKJV. We all stumble into pits from time to time completely on our own. And like Joseph, we are sometimes thrown into one by those closest to us. In other instances, like Daniel, our enemies cast us down into a pit. Frankly, once in a pit, we too often become obsessed with how deep it is, or waste time brooding over who helped put us there. But while circumstances may feel permanent, my faith and confession must be clear, when I fall, I will arise! Though I sit in darkness, the LORD is my light! Though I may deserve punishment, the LORD is merciful and forgiving because as David proclaimed “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Psalm 118:6 NKJV. Blessed Father, thank You for the testimonies of Scripture that show us the way. In Your strength, I WILL ARISE!
How much wasted energy and disappointments can be saved if in 2022 we pray as did the Church in the Upper Room–praying with the faith of God (Mark 11:22, margin).