Hard Times on Easy Street

Has your life recently grown more difficult? This may be theory right now.. but based upon the mounting evidence for it.. I’d say it could become law soon.

As believers we are all, so to speak, on ‘Easy Street’.. we have eternal life in our Savior.. and that makes our lives much easier than the lives of the lost.. we have the liberation in Messiah that slaves to sin have yet to know. We pray those bound to sin will come to know, sooner than later, that redeeming freedom from death.

Believers will have tribulation.. that is fact.. and we are to count it all joy.. and that can be difficult.. but as for going through daily life.. we have it easy.

We are protected by the saving blood and resurrection of Yahushua our Messiah.. and we have been empowered by His Holy Spirit to know and speak truth in love.

The path believers have taken is described in scripture as narrow, and hard to find.. and we know this is true.. the world is filled with gaping invitations to run the road to ruin.. and charting a path through this earthly tangle of sin is not easy.. the path to salvation is narrow, but it’s there, waiting and open for travelers.. though walking it takes Divine intervention.

But once we as believers have taken the high road of salvation.. we are free in our Savior.. and that liberty in Him, we all know, has made our lives much easier. It’s the times, i think we’d all agree, which have grown harder.. these are evil days.. full of turmoil, destruction and general uneasiness.. lots of little things in people’s lives have begun to mount.. and that mountain, for many, has begun to crumble.

Through our faith in Yahushua we could fearlessly enter the fiery furnace or calmly sleep with the lions.. we could face any unwarranted attack from the enemy with firm resolve in simply knowing and accepting that we, as believers, are protected. But we are not perfect.. and, even if we do not willfully continue in it, we will fall into sin at times.. and those times, now more than ever in our lives, are causes for concern.

It’s not the sin that should be more concerning than before.. it’s the ramifications of sin committed in a world where the enemy has us surrounded, and is closing in on our camp.

In believers’ lives, the effects of sin are becoming more dangerous than ever.. and I’d imagine these dark days have found many of us re-assessing our situations a lot more frequently than we had before.

We all have seen the tightening of the belts holding up the financial industry.. companies pursuing even small credit lapses.. natural gas companies cutting people off in winter when their bills are barely two months behind.. merchants instituting a maze of individually-identifying red tape before they give out a refund.

Of course, it hasn’t stopped there.. amidst the world-wide disaster strikes and skyrocketing levels of geo-political unrest.. the industry of government has feverishly begun sewing together all its loose ends as well.. closing off the exits on every possible avenue of freedom.. creating invisible-barred virtual prisons where people are unwittingly put to hard labor in mental slavery camps which appear to be ‘just life’.

I think Bob Marley put it well with his words “the Babylon system is a vampire.. sucking the blood of the sufferers..”

And now, and more each day, in this world where there is a major earthquake, flood, fire or something weird practically each week – we as believers have got to stand ready in our lives.

My personal life re-assessments have found me ready for the lions of the den – but unprepared for the mice of the field.

Bush (the band, of course) recorded a song with the line “It’s the little things that kill.. tearing at my brain again.. little things that kill..” and i think that now those words have rung most true. Our little sins.. like neglect.. like over-confidence.. they are the mice in the field.. and when they find us, they begin to gnaw.. not just at the visible tethers of our physical lives.. but they eat away at our unseen spiritual strength as well.

Our world is getting more evil, and everything wrong we do seems to carry much more weight than it did before.. and we know the only solution is to seek the counsel and instruction of our Savior. The days of dancing down the street singing are behind us perhaps, for now. The road is rocky and full of pitfalls.. and getting worse, most especially when we are at fault through those so-called ‘little’ sins. This is my theory, but of believers, i dare say, there’d be few who reject it.

Friends.. get your houses in order.. tie up the seams you have turned your head against in the past.. love each other without portion, and above all.. stay in our Master’s company.. read His word.. do His will.. be as close to without reproach as possible.. live like today is your last without living like today is the only day.

Our daily futures certainly don’t need to be mapped to nausea, but we do need a ‘game plan’.. because the game is on, it seems (if it’s not.. then we are even worse off than we think) – and the penalties for crossing the lines have gotten harsher.. and will continue.. until we, the believers on Yahushua, are openly the enemies.. and then it will be the worst.

Hard times on Easy Street.. I think we are probably there.. and I think if that is the case.. then what we will find on farther up the road is going to be times even harder.. until there is time no longer.. we believers are being tested.. let Yahushua bring us all out shining like gold.. turn every stone in your life.. consider sin – and run from it like it’s the plague.

Take care of the little things in life that can be controlled.. because the rest of the things we can’t control are hurtling toward us at increasing size and speed.. escape the avalanche with the simple and protective faith you have in our Savior.. do His will to the fullest daily.. He has said He will never leave us nor forsake us, and we know that to be true.

Don’t forget the little things.. these are dark days and hard, but Yahushua will surely bring us through them.

Remember Joel:

{1:1} The word of Yahuwah that came to Yo’el the son of Pethuw’el.

{2} Hear this, you elders, and give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has this happened in your days, or even in the days of your fathers?

{3} Tell your sons about it, your sons their sons, and their sons another generation.

{4} What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten. And what the crawling locust left, the consuming locust has eaten.

{5} Awake, you drunkards, and weep. And wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the new wine, for it has been cut off from your mouth.

{6} For a nation has come up against My land, strong, and without number. His teeth the teeth of a lion and he has the fangs of a fierce lion.

{7} He has laid waste My vine and ruined My fig tree. He has stripped it bare and thrown it away. Its branches are made white.

{8} Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.

{9} The grain offering and the drink offering have been cut off from the house of Yahuwah. The temple officials mourn, who minister to Yahuwah.

{10} The field is wasted, the land mourns, for the grain is ruined, the new wine is dried up, the oil fails.

{11} Be ashamed, you farmers! Wail, you vinedressers, for the wheat and the barley, because the harvest of the field has perished.

{12} The vine has dried up and the fig tree has withered. The pomegranate tree, the palm tree also,and the apple tree. All the trees of the field are withered. Surely joy has withered away from the sons of men.

{13} Gird yourselves and lament, you temple officials. Wail, you who minister before the altar. Come! Lie all night in sackcloth, you who minister to my ‘Eloah, for the grain offering and the drink offering are withheld from the house of your ‘Eloah.

{14} Consecrate a fast. Call a sacred assembly. Gather the elders, all the inhabitants of the land to the house of Yahuwah your ‘Eloah, and cry out to Yahuwah.

{15} Alas for the day! For the day of Yahuwah is at hand. It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.

{16} Is not the food cut off before our eyes, joy and gladness from the house of our ‘Eloah?

{17} The seed shrivels under the clods, storehouses are in shambles, barns are broken down, for the grain has withered.

{18} How the animals groan! The herds of cattle are restless because they have no pasture. Even the flocks of sheep suffer punishment.

{19} O Yahuwah, to You I cry out, for fire hasdevoured the open pastures and a flame has burned all the trees of the field.

{20} The beasts of the field also cry out to You, for the water brooks are dried up and fire has devoured the open pastures.

{2:1}Blow the trumpet in Tsiyown and sound an alarm in My sacred mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of Yahuwah is coming. For it is at hand!

{2} A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, the like of whom has never been, nor will there ever be any after them, even for many successive generations.

{3} A fire devours before them and behind them a flame burns. The land is like the Garden of ‘Eden before them and behind them a desolate wilderness. Surely nothing shall escape them.

{4} Their appearance is like the appearance of horses and like swift steeds, so they run.

{5} With a noise like chariots, over mountaintops theyleap, like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, like a strong people set in battle array.

{6} Before them the people writhe in pain, all faces are drained of color.

{7} They run like mighty men. They climb the wall like men of war. Every one marches in formation and they do not break ranks.

{8} They do not push one another. Every one marches in his own column. Though they lunge between the weapons, they are not cut down.

{9} They run to and fro in the city. They run on the wall. They climb into the houses. They enter at the windows like a thief.

{10} The earth quakes before them. The skies tremble. The sun and moon grow dark and the stars diminish their brightness.

{11} Yahuwah gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great, for the executor of His word is strong. For the day of Yahuwah is great and very terrible. Who can endure it?

{12} “Now therefore,” says Yahuwah, “turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”

{13} So rend your heart and not your garments. Return to Yahuwah your ‘Eloah for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He relents from doing harm.

{14} Who knows if He will turn and relent and leave a blessing behind Him, a grain offering and a drink offering for Yahuwah your ‘Eloah?

{15} Blow the trumpet in Tsiyown, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly,

{16} gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the sons and nursing babes. Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber and the bride from her dressing room.

{17} Let the temple officials, who minister to Yahuwah, weep between the porch and the altar. Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Yahuwah, and do not give Your heritage to reproach that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their ‘Eloah?'”

{18} Then Yahuwah will be zealous for His land and pity His people.

{19} Yahuwah will answer and say to His people, “Behold! I will send you grain and new wine and oil and you will be satisfied by them. I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.

{20} But I will remove far from you the northern army, and will drive him away into a barren and desolate land, with his face toward the eastern sea and his back toward the western sea. His stench will come up and his foul odor will rise because he has done monstrous things.”

{21} Fear not, O land! Be glad and rejoice, for Yahuwah has done marvelous things!

{22} Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field, for the open pastures are springing up and the tree bears its fruit. The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.

{23} Be glad then, you sons of Tsiyown, and rejoice in Yahuwah your ‘Eloah, for He has given you the autumn rain faithfully and He will cause the rain to come down for you. The autumn rain and the spring rain in the first month.

{24} The threshing floors shall be full of wheat and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.

{25} So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.

{26} You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of Yahuwah your ‘Eloah Who has dealt wondrously with you, and My people shall never be put to shame.

{27} Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Yisra’el. I am Yahuwah your ‘Eloah and there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame,

{28} and it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

{29} And also on menservants and on maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

{30} And I will show wonders in the sky and in the earth. Blood and fire and pillars of smoke!

{31} The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of Yahuwah.

{32} And it shall come to pass whoever calls on the name of Yahuwah shall be saved. For in Mount Tsiyown and in Yeruwshalaim there shall be deliverance, as Yahuwah has said, among the remnant whom Yahuwah calls.

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