Never in trouble

I just noticed an uptick in views here at Dispatches, and I’m wondering if perhaps people are looking for some perspective on the simultaneous crises happening around us. Certainly the world is looking more dangerous and chaotic than at any time in the immediate past.

Dallas Willard reminds us, “The Kingdom is never in trouble. And you are a part of the Kingdom. So you are not in trouble.” My YWAM friends in Kiev, (where I was scheduled to speak in five weeks time), surely feel like they’re in trouble. They’re sheltering in the basement and praying, while missiles fly overhead, and explosions rock the city. This is reality: life is a battlefield, but Jesus is at our side.

In every great, triumphant story there are battles. Without great battles there can be no great victories. Jesus promised us several things in life: peace, power, and trouble in this world, “but take courage… I have overcome the world.” His Kingdom is secure. It is not in trouble. And besides, He reminds us that “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

If I were a prognosticator I would say that for those of us who live in the West, things will likely get worse before they get better. We will need to learn that we cannot trust in the idols of people and politics. Many of us have become complacent and hopeful that the next election might save the day. We will need to repent from those idols and return to the King and the Kingdom as our only hope.

In the meantime, we must learn to pray and intercede, not casual prayers, nor prayers “on the run”, but focused prayers in agreement with others around us. We must gather for prayer. These are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary, life-interrupting action.

Then I believe we will begin to see great changes and great victories around us.

6 thoughts on “Never in trouble”

  1. Thanks so much Don. I am one of those who do indeed look to you for your perspective 🙂 So many times over the years – “What would Don be saying about this right now.”

    Janet A.

    On Fri, Feb 25, 2022 at 8:16 AM Dispatches from the Shadowlands: Hopeful glimpses of a Kingdom wrote:

    > Don Stephens posted: ” I just noticed an uptick in views here at > Dispatches, and I’m wondering if perhaps people are looking for some > perspective on the simultaneous crises happening around us. Certainly the > world is looking more dangerous and chaotic than at any time in the ” >

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Kevin. The longer I live the less certain I am about so many things, but the more confident I am in Jesus and His Kingdom. I’m glad you find these thoughts helpful.

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  2. I’ve always appreciated your posts because you are able to put into words the things that are in my heart but I don’t know how to express. Thanks.

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  3. As always, Don, you have words of wisdom apropos for the times. I think also of some of the things I’m encountering as I read Eric Metaxas’ book on Bonhoeffer.(I had hoped to finish it before hearing him speak a few weeks ago, but alas, I’m still reading the 550-page tome (though now it is a tome signed by the author!) It’s complicated to talk about the Church in Germany during the pre-WWII years, and I’m not qualified to make a comparison to the Church in the West today, so suffice to say that we must be like the sons of Issachar who understood the times (I Chron. 12: 32) both in our own nations and in others. We have more authority to proclaim and live out the principles of the Kingdom of God than we often realize. These are times for prayer indeed. Thank you for this post.

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  4. Hey Barb! Your comments are consistently insightful and encouraging. I wish I knew as much as I once thought I knew! Metaxes’ Bonhoeffer is on my list of “books to get to,” But I’ll most likely listen to it while I drive, since that seems to work best for biography.

    I agree that we have so much more authority than we know. We could at least focus on being a living witness of the Kingdom as we let Jesus live dynamically in and through us. Alas… the challenge appears to be so formidable. But you and I and a thousand other “ordinary disciples” can continue to point, prod, preach and proclaim the beauty of God’s chosen King, and His vision for all creation. May you be blessed as you occupy your spot on the wall!

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