Rapture Come Quickly

Maybe you have heard someone say or even said to yourself, “I sure hope the rapture comes soon.” I’m sure that some part of each person who says that really does desire to see Jesus face-to-face, but, if you are like me, I think the more likely wish of our hearts is to escape a current trial.

The Bible is filled with encouragement for those in trials of any kind. Do we find the same wishful thinking we see our hearts crying out for, or is there something even better that God’s word points us to? Let’s take a look:

Psalm 33:16 The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. 17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. 18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, 19 that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. 22 Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

The psalmist highlights our tendency to put our hope or trust in man-made devices like our armies or our strength (vs. 16-17), but the better promise and hope is in the steadfast love of the LORD (v. 18). As a result of this more certain hope, we can wait in the midst of our trial (v. 20) and experience joy and gladness even in our waiting (v. 21).

Psalm 42:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God…11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God.

Notice how the psalmist attacks his downcast soul, he calls out to hope in God. Additionally, note how the psalmist is talking to himself. Instead of believing that he can encourage his own heart through a change in circumstance, the psalmist calls out to hope in God.

Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Look at how the Apostle Paul encourages the Romans in the midst of their sufferings and trials. He doesn’t pray that they would escape them or have a change in circumstances, but instead he points to the hope that does not put us to shame because by faith in Jesus Christ we have obtained access into this grace that we know God gives us even more of as we are humble (James 4:6).

So what is our posture in the midst of trials, sufferings, and difficulties? Our posture is one that holds tightly to the hope we have in God through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit for the Day when all evil is extinguished both in the new heavens and new earth and in our hearts. Even as our hearts cry out to escape a trial or to avoid a trial, we have something even better to put our hope in, Jesus Christ, who conquered death by dying, who made sin powerless by taking on all our sin, and who made our future certain by raising from the dead.

Brothers and sisters, may we experience the joy of our salvation in our daily living as we abound in hope and rejoice in hope, who is Jesus Christ, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).

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Why Sponsorship with Family Legacy?

Psalm 68:5 Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.

Deuteronomy 10:18 He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.

Psalm 146:9 The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Our family of five just returned from our trip together to Lusaka, Zambia to serve and love the orphans in Lusaka. Zambia has the highest orphan population per capita in the world. A year ago my wife and I made the trip without our kids, so we have a unique privilege of seeing things from two vantage points.

Last year we had 14 kids to find sponsors for and this year we have 7 kids.  This year we were able to see the transformation that took place in those kids who became sponsored last year and find out how their lives have changed. One such girl in my wife’s group shared that while she was beaten last year, she is no longer beaten because she was now going to school with Family Legacy. Previously, this little girl had no value to her family or community, and now with education, she was valued and therefore not beaten.

Additionally, these kids are now speaking English, understanding English, and are more vibrant in just one year. English is the official language of Zambia, but education is needed in order to learn the language. Otherwise, all the children grow up learning and understanding a tribal language with only the ability to communicate it orally.

Every child we spoke to this year loved going to school, and the primary prayer request we heard from all our kids was that they wanted to keep going to school. As far as those kids who did not have a sponsor yet, their prayer request was that they would have the opportunity to go to school. Education in Zambia is a rare privilege for few children in the country, but Family Legacy has created the opportunity to provide top level education for children that are sponsored.

So why should you sponsor a child?

Education – Just like the real-life story above, education for these orphans is a life changer. They become valued in their family and community. The hope that can be expressed in words and stories begins to take root when their educational needs begin being met.

Food – Likewise, as part of the opportunity to attend school in their community, these orphans are given a healthy meal to enjoy. Most orphans of Zambia will eat once or twice a day with the content of those meals being only tea and nshima (a grits like mixture). IMG_2140.2

Due to the malnutrition of these orphans, they will appear many years younger than their actual ages. Sponsorship allows them to receive a nutritious meal giving them the opportunity to develop physically.

Discipleship – While education and food will provide orphans the opportunity to grow socially and physically, they likewise need to know about a Hope that goes beyond any of our circumstances. It is through these felt needs being met that Zambian orphans can actually hear the gospel without being distracted by their lack of education or empty stomachs. Sponsorship ensures that these children will also be taught the gospel, that there is Hope for life beyond the boundaries of this world through faith in Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect life, died a death we deserved, and raised to life to live forever at God’s right hand to this day.

Change – Being able to see our orphans after one year has given us physical proof of change. Those three reasons above are not just abstract ideas or concepts, but we have seen with our eyes and touched with our hands the actual change that takes place in the lives of the orphans through sponsorship. Yes, sponsorship really does make a difference in the individual lives of orphans and in the communities all over Lusaka, Zambia.

For example, see the following picture:

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As the verses at the beginning of this post indicate, we serve a God who has a heart and love for the fatherless, the orphan, and we have the privilege and responsibility to care for and love the orphan. Sponsorship through Family Legacy for one of these orphans is just the way we can do this.

Our family has been sponsoring two orphans since 2012, and we have seen just how transformational sponsorship can be in these children, in our lives, and in the lives of our own children. Take the plunge and allow your heart to love like you did not know it could when you sponsor one of these orphans.

You can sponsor kids at the following links:

Boys to Sponsor

Girls to Sponsor