Sunday, May 27, 2012

For Times Like These

In a book written just for times like this Memorial Weekend 2012, Bill C. Konstantopoulos describes the “new mood of pessimism, negativism, doom, and surrender” filling American airwaves. Shocked Americans find it “incompatible with the traditional and historical American spirit” (Konstantopoulos /A Word in Due Season/Reformation Publishers, Prestonsburg, KY).

We magnify our enemies. We broadcast our weaknesses. We publicize our fears, and openly confess our lack of an unshakable foundation and faith. We fill our songs with the blues and our affirmations of faith, confidence, and adventure are non-existent. We present rising unemployment, our poor economic index, the threat of war, and even the possibility of nuclear holocaust as undeterred monsters that wait to eagerly devour us while we wait helplessly and hopelessly.

Such mood music paralyzes much of our culture. It produces an attitude of procrastination that steals both our time and purpose from us. We would have to be stupid to deny the hard times ordinary people face, and this dark cloud of uncertainty broods over us like a pending storm.

Have we no alternative, other than surrender to the negative doomsayers? Whatever happened to the faithfulness of God? Should we withdraw--retreat, join the enemy, retire into a hard shell of self-protection? Why not hang our harps on the Willow Trees that surround us and surrender our message of hope to our over-charged age of negative pessimism?

What alternative have we? Is there any word from The Lord Who created this universe? Have we no “Ode to Joy?“ Rather than retreat, why not re-tread? Rather than give up to cynicism, why not dig in and begin advancing with clean-cut principles that pursue our divine purpose and destiny?

The best examples of the true Christian spirit, message, and hope are best demonstrated during the hardest of times. As one who has made that long journey of faith, Konstantopoulos suggests “the deeper the darkness … the brighter the light. The harder the times, the more Christians [true Christ followers] give themselves to the spirit of surrender and service.”

This is a simple book, written by a simple man of God that dared listen to the siren call of God as a lad in southern Greece. He followed that certain sound to America, obtained an education and used it in a multi-national, intercontinental ministry challenging ordinary people to meet the demands of a culture that calls for “a new spirit”.

Franklin D. Roosevelt once announced, “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” Humanity continually searches for that something, or some place, to tie that knot of security, some place where it can hang on in safety. Young people like my younger grandson, who celebrates his 19th mile marker today, are searching for safe places to tie their knot . Take their stand, and make their mark.

Author Konstantopoulos optimistically concludes “Christians ought to do better than that, for only the Christian faith offers a true gift of faith for such faith-less times. Hang on to the promises of God! Let hope abound - where no hope now lives.

Christian songwriter, singer Ruth Caye Jones wrote a wonderful song I first heard her sing while working in Wheeling, WVA. The third verse expresses the core of this faith:

In times like these I have a Saviour,
In times like these, I have an anchor;
I’m very sure (repeat);
I’m very sure (repeat),
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock.
That Rock is Jesus,
Yes, He’s the One,
This Rock is Jesus,
The only One;
I’m very sure (repeat),
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
(Peterson & Smith/Songs That Touch The Heart, Vol. 3/Zondervan/1960)

From Warner's World,
I am

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