Dear Precious Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Every time we communicate we have a wonderful opportunity to encourage each other in our faith in our Savior! “Faith” is a precious, priceless gift from the very heart of God to His children. (2Peter 1:1) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) In The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, written in the 1800’s, there is an interesting quote in an article about “SUFFERING”: “Faith is a post held in the midst of a furious attack against it which never ceases” Indeed, this is where the battle is for all of us: Be sober, be vigilant, because your enemy the devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, whom resist steadfast in the faith!!!(1Peter 1:8-9) Greater is He (God the Father through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit) that is in you than he (the devil) that is in the world. (1John 4:4)
We have an anchor, we have an advocate, we have an intercessor, we have a heavenly Dad who will not give up on us! He will not give up on us! He will not forsake us, NO MATTER HOW VIOLENTLY THE BATTLE RAGES He will unceasingly, lovingly, tenderly watch over His little lamb – as long as there is breath, as long as there is an ounce of life, as long as there is time, He will nurture our faith (believing and keeping on believing) in Him. (Luke 15:4) Be of good cheer, He has overcome the world! (John 16:33) I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day! (2Timothy 1:12) Let us willingly, believingly, enjoin God…engage God with faith in His triumph over evil in our world, in our life! Let us grab hold of Him, desperately clutch Him if need be…hearing what He is saying…seeing Him for Who He is…for indeed, He is the only source able to deliver on His promise of our eternal salvation.
Though the enemy screeches; though he claws and gnaws; though he sweetly whispers; though he strokes and titillates; though he reasons and waxes eloquent; though he presses gravely through close relationships or corners us in the face of peers; though he jabs us with guilt or goads us with legalism; though he incessantly points out to us the impassable mountains of unbelief in the world around us; though he constantly entices us with destructive lusts and then jeers over our fallen, half-dead carcass when we give in; though we feel so far from God that we can only barely hear a tiny, tiny faint whisper deep in the recesses of our remotest memory competing with the ascending screams of the satan; though he paralyzes us with someone else’s vaulted, exalted hypocritical religiosity and intimidates us with someone else’s “sanctimonious” gloating on their spiritual depth and understanding. Though all of hell’s tricks and schemes and threats and lies and deception and smooze is smothered on us all at one time – hold on to the truth of Jesus Christ – hold on to the promise He has made to us. The tiniest crimson thread of heaven will hold our anchor in Christ though we’re tossed in the worst, tumultuous tempest in the deepest, widest sea! (Hebrews 6:19)
Believe it! And keep on believing it, no matter what!!! We must remind ourselves that all our Christian brothers and sisters are struggling. We all face the trials of life around us and in us. We all are buffeted by the news reports bombarding us, local, national, and overseas.
If you are on the front lines in nursing home ministry, encourage those who are hurting to keep their eyes on Jesus. Often, care center residents who believe in Jesus cannot see past the pain and the loneliness of the next moment! Show them the love of Jesus. Remind them of His care for them and of His presence in their heart.
We love each of you and are deeply grateful for your kind support, your prayers and your encouragement. May God richly bless you according to His riches in Christ Jesus! Keep the faith!
Love in Christ,
Jerry and Dar Johnson