You might say it was bad times, even the worst of times. Due to massive public works projects, and military engagements in distant lands, the government was deeply in debt. We all knew what had to happen. It was inevitable that taxes would rise, and we all wondered how much this time.
We felt very disconnected from those who governed. It seems like an elite few at the top got all the benefits, while the rest of us paid their way. It didn’t help either that the politicians didn’t share our values or opinions on issues that were important to us. And over time we could see that the government was encroaching on our individual lives in an increasingly disruptive way.
Some of us were fortunate enough to be employed, even if it was in an underpaid, blue-collar, manual labor job. We were grateful for a steady income as many of our friends had been unemployed for a long time, and were having difficulty making ends meet.
Sound familiar? It could be a description of what many people feel today in our culture, but actually it is a description of Israel’s situation, dominated by Rome 2000 years ago. Times were tough and good news was scarce, but those blue-collar, manual laborers (better known to us as shepherds) were about to receive the greatest good news ever communicated.
Father God was getting ready to send His gift of salvation and peace to everyone on earth. We’ve all heard the story of the shepherds visited by angels who announced the birth of Jesus Christ. But do we really understand the gift Father God gave to us?
Salvation is more than a fire escape from hell, and peace is more than the cessation of war. In His infinite goodness, Father God wanted to restore to us everything we lost in the Garden of Eden when we disobeyed Him, and corruption of every kind began to dominate us. He gave us the gift of salvation and peace to offer us a full, unhindered relationship with Him, and wholeness and prosperity in every area of our lives.
This gift is independent of our circumstances and we can receive it even in bad times. Father God only asks that we trust and believe His word and promise, and continually seek Him with our whole heart. (Hebrews 11:6) He will do the rest.
The last few years have been difficult for many of us in different ways, and many people have become discouraged with unending bad times. We’ve just been through a prolonged campaign process that seems to have intensified negativity and divisions among us. The election results may have left you with a ray of hope, or extinguished what little hope you felt you had left.
Father God wants to shower you with His goodness that has nothing to do with who sits in the Oval Office, what’s the size of the national debt, or what’s the current rate of unemployment. His goodness is never depleted and never comes to an end. He wants you to experience the gift of His good news even in your bad times.
Come join us this Sunday at 9:00 AM or 11:00 AM.