Faithcast Calls for Son

Jesus replied, ‘When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”- Matthew 16:2-3

Los Angeles failed to hit 70 degrees in February for the first time in recorded history-

The Washington Post

Cold storm system could bring rain, snow across SoCal on Wednesday, Thursday- KTLA (Channel 5)

Storm brings heavy rain and high winds, shuts down 101 Freeway and PCH- CBS Los Angeles

These are just some of the headlines that made the news cycle last month, as the southland experienced unprecedented precipitation and low temperatures. The extreme cold and wet weather prompted wall to wall media coverage and have many people checking the ten-day weather forecast in hopes of some brighter and warmer days on the radar. The recent weather, “Storm Watch 2019”, has created the usual challenges of poor driving conditions, canceled little-league baseball/softball games, and less work for certain types of jobs. Despite these obstacles, the weather has also provided some positive outcomes. The land is being refreshed and water reservoirs are being replenished, the skiing and snowboarding community is enjoying a fresh-packed winter wonderland (some reports say ski resorts may stay open until July 4th), and water bills are sure to be lower. I know that at our house we haven’t ran the sprinklers since 2018!

February’s frigid weather has me thinking about the above words of Jesus about understanding the times. Jesus was calling people to stop always seeking “a sign” from heaven as proof to God’s presence and power working in their midst. He was encouraging people to tap into an ability to discern what was taking place at a spiritual dimension all around them, in the same manner they would be able to forecast the day’s weather based on the physical elements in the sky. This word is as timely and truth-filled for us in today as when it was spoken by Christ centuries ago. The fact remains that the current temperature of troubles: moral decay, economic difficulties, social injustices/differences, violent acts, natural disasters, disease and death; are to such a degree that it is unavoidable for us not to notice, be disheartened, and at some level be personally impacted by. For the people inquiring of Jesus for “a sign”, they were wanting evidence that the Messiah had indeed come to bring liberty from those who controlled their land, their finances, and their freedom with a heavy hand. It would be easy for their focus to be on the struggles all around them. The message to them is the same for us, as Paul puts it in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

We too can be totally consumed with the negative stuff taking place in our midst. We are far too aware of all the junk in our lives. The lack, the pain, and the struggles we face are not difficult to discern at all. You already have enough people telling you about your deficiencies; your bank accounts remind you of all your debts; and your boss is pressuring you about the next deadline. The challenge for us each day, the cry from our heart that needs to be converted into a prayer, is that we would be able to understand what the Lord is doing in our midst and for us to have the ability to see the good. Psalm 145:17 reminds us, “The Lord is righteous in all His ways and faithful in all He does.”

May it be that in the harsh conditions of life and the downpour of despair, that your focus does not become how hard things are, how alone you feel, and how hopeless the outcome may seem. Jesus has an answer for us to the things that are taking place. In John 14:27 He promises, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” May the Holy Spirit deliver peace to our minds, sight to our eyes, and assurance to our hearts. May we begin to discern His presence and His will over the areas we have deepest concern, need, and desire for. In a broken family relationship, may you see small steps of restoration and healing. In a low-paying job, may you experience God’s provision coming from multiple places. In a personal struggle, may you sense a rich deposit of His Spirit bringing greater strength to overcome. In an unanswered prayer, may you receive a stirring that breakthrough is near.

Yes, the forecast calls for MORE RAIN…just not the kind that keeps you indoors or in a melancholy mood. As Joel 2:23 prescribes, “Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given you the autumn rains because He is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains as before.” For the rain from heaven is about to be poured out to you to bring amazing refreshing and abundant life!

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