I think this counts as my first Public Service Announcement as a Christian fiction author. Aptly enough, it’s about Christian fiction. Feedback welcome!
We live in a unique time. Whether you are in the United States or anywhere else in the world, we have all been subjected to extraordinary upheaval and change over the last few years. We have lived through the threat of COVID-19 (plus its many variants) and we have seen how governments and society reacted to it; we have experienced racial and gender-related strife; we have seen ever-deepening political division worldwide; and we have seen new war, even the potential for nuclear war.
It can seem overwhelming at times. There is a constant prompting to take a political side and do something. This is why it is so important to pray for guidance and wait on the Lord for answers.
The specific challenges the world is facing may have changed over time but the nature of the world's problems has not. All problems in the world are related to sin and the desire to sin. And God has already given us answers to cope and deal with this.
James 4: 1-7 (King James Version = KJV) reads:
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
There is always pressure from people to see the ways of Biblical scripture as old fashioned and irrelevant in today's society. Some even deliberately take the scriptures (or parts of scriptures) out of context to promote a false message that is more in line with whatever sin they favor. Many people have never read the Bible while others are regularly discouraged from reading it.
But God has not changed and neither has His Word. There is power from God in the scriptures, which is why it is called the Living Word. Through God's Holy Spirit, the scriptures are reaching people and improving lives today, just as they have in times past.
The Bible is actually timeless. While it gives an incredibly detailed look at the past, between God's prophets and Jesus Himself, the scriptures gave glimpses of the future as well.
In Matthew 24: 6-14 (KJV), Jesus told His disciples:
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
God has the solutions to all of life's problems. And His truths supersede all of humankind's truths. Our wisdom cannot exceed God's. We are mortal. Our hearts and minds can only take so much knowledge, so much reality — and then we will either faint, reject what we can't handle, or be driven to madness.
Job 39: 1-18 (KJV) reads:
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment. And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.
Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth? Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
There are many ideas and concepts being floated around in current society that people treat as absolute truth. And I realize that to many people, these ideas may be appealing on different levels. But if they defy God's Will as shown through the scriptures, they are still wrong and should be abandoned.
We can place our hope in the Lord and His promises, because God always keeps His promises. We may have placed our trust in people, even people claiming to be Christians, and been let down or hurt by their actions. People can make mistakes or they can turn on us. But God is faithful. He loves us. And while we may go through difficult times, He can comfort us, see us through those times, and even move obstacles out of our way, if that's His Will. God can do anything.
Matthew 19: 21-26 (KJV) reads:
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
I encourage everyone, whether you are a Christian or not, to read and consider God's Word, the Holy Bible. If you haven't read it in a while or at all, I would suggest beginning in the New Testament in the book of John. And I suggest prayer. Please ask the Lord to show you His Will for your life. I will be praying this for myself as well.
I made a brand new (and probably final) trailer for Sea Change, my Space Western short story for the Lights in a Dark Sky (Christian Sci-Fi) anthology which releases on August 9, 2022. Feedback welcome.
About the author
Allen Steadham is a nondenominational Christian. Happily interracially married since 1995 and the proud father of two sons and a daughter. He and his wife have been in the same Christian band since 1997. He plays electric bass, she plays strings, they both sing. It's all good.
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