By Dr. Donald Witchard
Psalm 27:1 – “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life: of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 34: 1, 8 – “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good. Blessed is the man who trusts in Him”
John 15:11 – “These things have I spoken to you, that your joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full”
I want to focus my attention on something a bit different in my writings. Those of us who shepherd the flock and pay attention to the prophetic narrative can plainly see that things are not looking good for anybody. There is a lot out there that is frightening and there are events that can get us quite angry and desire to see fire fall from heaven and consume those who are not obedient to the LORD’s directives. A steady diet of despair and futility can dampen the enthusiasm of anyone who loves the LORD and long for His arrival, often carrying a sense of despair that is not a good witness to anybody.
We can groan, gripe, and lament about the dire situation in which we and the world reside. If we consume a steady diet of woe, then we will be down-hearted believers. It’s true that we long for the LORD’s return and we should be watchful, but for heaven’s sake, cheer up! The Scriptures contain numerous verses like the ones I have posted that speak of joy for the believer. Remember, in the end, WE WIN!
What do we do until that day? Brethren, we possess the greatest news than anyone could ever desire to have! We have eternal life in Jesus Christ! At one time, we were the enemies of God (Romans 5:10) destined to die an unredeemed life and head straight to an eternal hell. Yet, the Father sent His only begotten Son (John 3:16) on a rescue mission that had been planned before creation. Someone – a preacher, teacher, parent, friend – told you the Good News, that Jesus Christ was the only way to heaven and peace with God (John 14:6). Remember the joy and comfort you felt when Jesus came into your life? Take a minute to thank Him for salvation.
As a pastor, it is my duty to feed my flock the Scriptures and sound doctrine. My job isn’t to expressly discuss issues that are talked to death by panels of so-called “experts” that we find on TV and on the radio. If I merely wanted to repeat all the bad news we see from behind my pulpit, then I might as well tell my people to go home and watch it for themselves. They don’t need sound exegesis to explain why people were hurt, killed, bullied, or persecuted this day. I’m entrusted by God Himself to present the only solution available for the world’s woes, and that is the living Lord Jesus Christ for whom I gladly bow down before and call Him my Lord.
The Scriptures do indeed have stories of woe, such as the book of Revelation, but even in that, in the end, we see a new world free of sin and destruction, bathed in the glory of Christ. We wait eagerly for that time, and as such, be joyful! Don’t be afraid to tell your story to someone who is looking for meaning and purpose and a chance to escape what is fixing to happen to this world. We are to do the King’s business until He comes. Don’t let anyone bully you into silence! We have a job to do (Mark 16:15). Look up, be watchful, for your redemption is drawing near. Get happy!
Don was born and raised in the true Cajun Country of Louisiana. He holds a Bachelors Degree in History from Louisiana College, a Masters Degree in Christian Education from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Theology from Andersonville Baptist Seminary in Georgia. Don has served as a pastor, interim pastor, high school teacher, and hospital chaplain over the past thirty years. He currently serves as a volunteer chaplain (2008-present) with St. Francis Hospital and also served as the pastor/teacher from 2013-2016 at the Gospel Rescue Mission, both of which are here in Muskogee. He was called to Meadowbrook in February 0f 2017 and began his ministry in March of that year. He has also served as President of the Muskogee Baptist Association’s Pastors Conference, which is a weekly meeting that presents speakers and ministry ideas and concepts to church leaders in the greater Muskogee area.
Don’s top priority is to see that the good news of Jesus Christ is shared with our lost and hurting world and that the people of God are taught sound doctrine and preparation for our Lord’s soon return.