I think the kindest thing the Lord can do for his church is put us in a place where we must pray, a place where we need one another, where we finally realize that it doesn’t matter what denomination the other person is from because we are all in the same boat together, fighting the same fight. That is the great kindness of the Lord.
God is doing this for the honor and glory of his name. He is doing it to bring his church back to strength again, to take away what has weakened her, to instill in her a right focus so that the power and virtue of Christ can begin to flow from her again.
His bride will once again speak with authority in her mouth, direction in her eyes and gladness in her heart. It is the mercy of God that he brings hardship and suffering upon us, stripping us of our comforts. Yes, judgment is coming on the entire world, but mercy precedes and triumphs over judgment (see James 2:13). God is willing to bring us to a place of realizing our true condition. How tragic it would be for us to live as if everything is fine only to discover that we missed the whole purpose, stopped short of the gateway to eternal life and lived a cultural Christianity with no reality behind it?
Scripture says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:7-8, ESV).
If we choose not to humble ourselves and to allow the Lord to deal with these issues in our hearts now, one day we will have to face what will clearly stand as a just judgment.
When you look around and see everything starting to fail, take heart! We are about to meet with God in the midst of the storm. Don’t allow your fear of the waves to cause you to miss out on what he has to say to you!
Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. In May of 2020 he transitioned into a continuing role as General Overseer of Times Square Church, Inc.