Hang on to Hope
I recently saw three powerful pieces of art — two films and a stage production — that carried hope even in affliction. This verse from Psalm 119 has been in my mind and spirit since.
Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. (Ps 119: 49-50)
One film, Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn’s The Harbingers of Things to Come, is based on his books The Harbinger and The Harbinger II: The Return. In the documentary, Cahn identifies nine events or harbingers leading to the Babylonian conquest of Israel and Judah, the destruction of the temple and the exile of the Jewish people. Cahn correlates those harbingers to events in America, starting with the strike on the Twin Towers in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. These parallels are shockingly on target. As an intercessor, I was discomfited and distressed anew by America’s march to judgment.
That judgment is in no small measure linked directly to the murder of more than 63 million children through state-sponsored killings (Lev. 20: 1-5; Ps. 106: 37-38). The second film I saw, The Matter of Life, explores how America became a killing field but shows how the tide is turning through the courageous actions of several abortion foes. IFA covered the film and director Tracey Robinson May 10 and Nov. 30, 2021. I wept at the evil but rejoiced at the heroes saving babies’ lives daily.
The gruesome reality of abortion also hit home with the New York City-based production Oh Gosnell: A Show About The Truth, covered on www.HeadlinePrayer.org on May 14. This work is drawn from court documents linked to the prosecution of Dr. Kermit Gosnell who killed several — perhaps thousands —of babies born alive by snipping their spinal columns.
Seeing Harbingers, The Matter of Life and Gosnell almost back-to-back sobered me and led me to reflect upon the righteousness of the Lord’s judgment. For years, I have been praying judgment — which has come and is coming — would be limited in scope and duration. That prayer was not misplaced; the Lord calls us to pray for such mitigation. My hope, however, was misplaced. Frankly, I was hoping to avoid all judgment.
Recently, though, the Lord showed me extreme action was necessary. He told me, “Be uplifted for this will lead to the necessary correction. Be sure — those who have rebuffed Me cannot hide the reality of My Presence. Know their hearts’ hardness requires this move. In this way, Mercy lies.”
My hope no longer rests upon avoiding judgment, but upon the Word — Jesus Christ Himself — of the Lord, whose love and mercy abounds even unto those who slaughtered and are slaughtering Rachel’s children (Matt. 2: 16-18).
Dearest Intercessors, remember the Lord’s Word — not the avoidance of affliction — is Hope’s home. His promise of mercy in Christ is our comfort and our life. Hang onto that Hope!
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Author Joyce Swingle is an intercessor and contributing writer for Intercessors for America. With her husband Drama Evangelist Rich, Joyce shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world through theatre and speaking. Joyce also has performed on screen. Prior to going into full-time ministry, Joyce worked for about 20 major magazines and now works in pastoral ministry and Christian counseling. She and Rich live in New York City. Photo Credit: Ben White on Unsplash.
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