HE ASKED THE LITTLE BOY, “ WHY ARE YOU STARING AT THE MEMORIAL PLAQUE”
With Veterans Day celebrations, many churches across USA had special services last week, We honored the sacrifice of veterans and servicemen who give sacrificially for our nation.
Pastor saw Alex standing in the foyer of the church staring at the large plaque. It was covered with names and small American flags mounted on either side of the plaque. Seven-year-old Alex had been staring at the plaque for some time when pastor walked up. Standing beside him. He said quietly, “Good morning, Alex.”
“Good morning Pastor” he replied. Still focused on the plaque “Pastor, what is this?”
"Well son, it’s a memorial to all of the young men and women who died in the service.”
Soberly they stood there, lost in reflection quietly looking at the names. Finally, little Alex’s tiny voice broke the silence… Barely audible and trembling with fear he asked, “
"Which service, the 8:30 or the 10:45?”
OK, So you invest your life in serving others. Even though life started out badly. For years you have been doing all that you can to do the right thing. Then, suddenly, having done nothing wrong you offend the rich people of the city. “The man” turns on you, spreads lies, and uses his wealth to hire people testify falsely against you. Now, to add insult to injury, you find yourself innocent in a prison cell. What does a brother have to do to get a fair trial in this city?
At that point I might begin to question the fairness of life. If it were me, I would be crying out to God, “Hurry up and get me out of this.” The circumstances are exactly where the apostle Paul found himself, languishing in prison, having committed no crime except shining the light on the darkness of the fallen city but there was no quit in him, There was no pity in him, no time to whine about whether life was fair. That is the context of his life as he penned those powerful words.
“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say it rejoice.”
The reason he could rejoice with his focus on God's purpose for his life. Philippians 1:12-15 is very revealing to establish the foundation upon which he could build his life.
"Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear."
The apostle Paul is the classic example of discovering and experiencing joy in difficult circumstances. “Joy” and “rejoicing” are mentioned 12 times in his short letter to the Philippians—written while he was in Rome with an uncertain future ahead of him.
How can we have joy in difficult circumstances?
Ronnie Northan suggest reasons to rejoice.
1) God's care. Moses told the 2nd generation of Israelites who had survived 38 years of wilderness wanderings, “You shall rejoice in all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household” (Deuteronomy 26:11) We can rejoice because of God’s care for us in difficult times.
2) Since we are citizens of heaven that means that we are in Christ in the heavenlies. That is, we can rejoice in difficult situations because of our citizenship in heaven where we are fully protected.
As a believer, a disciple, as a Christian today, don't focus on what happens to you but what God wants to do in you. Through tis He will demonstrate what he can accomplish through you.
God cares for you. It is He who and made you a citizen of heaven. He will continue to care for you and sustain you with the resources of heaven itself. Both truths make good reasons for having joy in the Lord today.