By Joseph Hayes
At one point or another, we all are faced with a moment of testing that will cause us to look inwardly at ourselves and ask the question: “What am I really all about?”
For each of us, an issue or moment of pressure will one day arrive that will cause us to either lay down or find the strength and motivation to clench our fists, grit our teeth and refuse to relent.
In 2019, I was faced with one of the most challenging years of my life. At several points, I didn’t even know if I would survive to see 2020.
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No person would be able to help me overcome. It would only be God that would be able to see me through.
And in the process, I would grow to understand that some challenges, as hard as they may seem, actually make you stronger in the long run.
I always thought it was tough going through the process of burying my grandmother in high school, and later my mother and father as an adult. But those experiences would not compare to the personal challenges I faced in 2019, that nearly sapped my motivation to continue living.
At one point, I remember waking up in a hospital bed with all the lights off in the room except for the monitors and being awakened by the voice of my Father in Heaven with words that would startle me in a way that can not be explained in English.
In His calm, gentle voice, I clearly heard Father God say:
“Joseph, you would not be alive right now, if I hadn’t kept you.”
The shock and awe from what He said resonated so deeply within me, that it still remains with me to this day. Because I knew inwardly in my heart, His Words were definitely true.
God’s words to me that day would cause me to reflect inwardly at myself in a way I had never done so before, while also asking a simple, yet complex question.
Why? Why had God chosen to keep me alive on this earth? For what reason?
This question and the inward reflection that followed from the overall experience has remained with me and served as a catalyst that would forever change my life.
No longer do I care what people think of me. No longer do I reflect on what others might say. I live to please the only One who has kept me.
We live during a time where we have all surrendered to the opinions of others. What they say and think of us has often taken on more importance and prominence in our lives than even our Creator.
And in the process, we have often forgotten what is truly important.
That can easily be seen all around us, as we steadily witness the fall of our country. We can debate with one another. But it really isn’t open for interruption: the United States is falling right in front of our eyes.
Because it has forsaken its purpose and it’s covenant with God.
So we continue to witness a prophetic event that will forever change the course of time.
The Bible calls these moments the last days and it has all occurred on our watch. Our nation has become morally bankrupt because we all chose to remain silent when we had a chance to speak up and take a stand for God.
My mother was still alive back in 2008 when Barack Obama was first running for President of the United States and said marriage should be between a man and a woman. Today, he would be outcasted and called a bigot for saying the exact same thing.
What has transpired in the past 12 years to get us to a point that everything has been turned upside down?
In the past decade we have watched our nation enter a free-fall because of a lack of character. So much so that a current finalist for president now calls himself a socialist and much of the youth in our country finds nothing wrong with communism.
Just a generation ago, most of our country would have been up in arms regarding the same principles.
Check out previous editions of the Living God’s Best series here.
But everything has now changed because we have refused to take a stand for Godly principles. Most of us are too afraid of what someone else might say.
What are the issues that make you clench your fists and refuse to move? What topic of discussion arises that would cause you to walk away from money, prominence and disregard the opinion of others?
At what point is it all enough?
Consider that in 2020, more people will take a stand for animal rights than precious babies made in the very image of God. So if I were to say that I don’t want my pregnant dog to give birth to it’s babies, and I have decided to abort them, more people would be up in arms than if I decided to abort a human being.
More people are fixated on protecting the earth than honoring the God who created it or an actual person living on it.
It’s amazing what life will do. We all learn things that our parents can not teach us.
In the past year, I’ve encountered many of those sort of life lessons. So many things have occurred that my perspectives have forever changed.
And as time has advanced, I’ve begun to learn a deeper understanding on what Jesus meant when He said, you can’t be His disciple if you won’t pick up your cross and follow Him.
You aren’t going to be accepted by this world for doing the right things or when you take on the proper perspective. Does that mean you shouldn’t?
You aren’t going to be encouraged by the masses for taking a stand for righteousness. People will mock, jeer and taunt you.
But that doesn’t mean you still can’t take a stand for what’s right. After all, isn’t that why God has personally decided to keep us all here?
By His own power and His own will, He has kept us alive. So why not fight for Him? If anything will be achieved, why not see to it that He is the One that is honored and respected during your time on the earth.
Because after all, what else is really important, other than bringing praise and glory to the God who really deserves it. Wouldn’t that be worth taking a stand for when you ultimately look back on your life in the end?
And if you don’t know Jesus, today is the perfect day to make a decision that will forever change the course of your life. There is no other way to have a relationship with Father God other than His chosen vessel, Jesus Christ.
He came to the earth to sacrifice His life so that we might live forever. Why not give Him a chance today?
If you have never received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior start today, by believing in Him and saying out loud:
Heavenly Father, I come to you in Jesus’ name. Please forgive me of my sins. I believe your Son Jesus was sent to earth to die for me on the cross and that He rose from the dead. I receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Jesus take my life and use it for your glory. I choose to extend forgiveness to anyone who has sinned against me. Welcome to God’s family! Your spirit is born again!
Choose to spend time learning more about Jesus in the Bible. You can study Him in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Seek God on what local church you should attend to learn more about Him and choose to put your faith on display by being baptized. As you continue learning about God, be His ambassador and continue sharing what you have learned with everyone. Where you go, the Lord goes. So choose to represent Him today.