“HOW DESERTED LIES THE CITY”
These are the opening words of the book of Lamentations, written by the Old Testament Prophet Jeremiah. Just like cities in America that are under attack today, Jeremiah lived through the siege and destruction of the city of Jerusalem (in this case by the Babylonian army).
For the first half of this five chapter book, Jeremiah laments and bemoans his distress and sorrow at what has taken place. Then, surprisingly, in the middle of the third chapter he says:
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’S great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD” (Lam. 3:21-26).
In the midst of the turmoil, turbulence, anarchy, shut downs, mask wearing, and more, like Jeremiah, we too have hope in the LORD (our Lord Jesus Christ). We too have hope in His great love, His compassions, and faithfulness. We too can say the LORD is our portion. We too know the LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him and seek Him.
WE WILL WAIT…QUIETLY FOR THE SALVATION OF THE LORD
We too will wait quietly for the Salvation of the LORD. We have already received Part 1 of the salvation Jeremiah was waiting for. It was accomplished at the First Coming of Jesus, so that we read,
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…” (Eph. 2:8).
We have been “made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions” (Eph. 2:5). By grace we have been saved. But like Jeremiah, we are waiting. We wait quietly for Part 3 of the promised salvation. It lies ahead at the Second Coming of Jesus:
“…without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God” (Phil. 1:28).
Peter points to this in his first epistle:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet. 1:3-5).
Jesus is coming. He will bring salvation to those who look to Him. He will destroy evil and put all things right.
WHILE WE WAIT…WE WILL PROCLAIM
We give thanks for Part 1 of our salvation (we have been saved), and we wait quietly for Part 3 of the salvation (we will be saved), but there is also a Part 2 of salvation.
Part 2 is that we are being saved. As Peter tells us we are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation to be revealed in the last time. While we wait, we can draw upon that power to strengthen and transform us in the midst of our current circumstances. But Part 2 also involves proclaiming to others the saving work of Jesus Christ—that they can be saved too:
“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Rom. 10:9-10).
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18).
WHILE WE WAIT…WE WILL TRAIN
We boldly proclaim and train others to proclaim the salvation we have received, are experiencing, and are looking froward to. We are excited that those we have trained are doing so as well.
The Divine Expedition Brasil team just concluded a training in Estrela, southern Brasil. The “Seu Coração” announcement of the training means “Your Heart.” Our Phase 2 training is about “Aligning your heart with the Father heart of God.”
The photo below is of the trainers and those being trained. The person kneeling in the center of the photo in the very front, Douglas, is the pastor of the Estrela church.
Before Douglas came to know Jesus, he was cheating on his wife and woke up one morning with his wife standing over him with a knife about to stab him. He was able to fend her off and his brother Litos (now coordinating our training in Brazil) got him to meet with pastor Sammy (who leads our training in Brasil), and Douglas came to know Christ. His wife Cátia is now one of our Master Trainers.
WHILE WE WAIT…WE WILL ZOOM
When we can’t train others in person, we do so through media platforms like Zoom.
More Zoom calls lie ahead. While turbulence and destruction surround us, and we wait quietly for the Salvation of the LORD, we hope, we proclaim, we train, we zoom—and we thank God for you and your partnership.
Waiting with you,
Linus and Sharon
P.S. Brief update on Sharon: progressing but slow. We found out in her follow up appointment that she had broken her hip as well as her femur. Ouch. Double ouch. Thanks for your prayers for her (and my cooking).