CALLOUSED HEARTS AND COMPASSION FATIGUE

DON’T ALLOW YOUR HEART TO GROW CALLOUS. BEWARE OF COMPASSION FATIGUE.

Here are some heart-felt sentiments as I lay here on this Monday morning…
My heart is overwhelmed with the struggling, the hurting, the broken, the desperate, the sick, the dying, and the many helpless and hopeless people and situations across the globe. Here is a letter I received recently from a pastor in a nation I’ve ministered in several times:

Hi My Dear Rev. Bert and family,

It has been a long time we have been praying for our country. As long as the generations go and new generations come we will normally need people to lift up their voice with us to pray and seek the Lord for something in the land.

I would like to ask you to join us at this moment to pray for Guinea-Bissau. OUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOUR PRAYERS SERIOUSLY AT THIS POINT, BECAUSE THINGS ARE NOT GOING ALRIGHT, POLITICALLY, SOCIALLY, ECONOMICALLY, ETC. PEOPLE ARE DESPERATELY IN A BAD SITUATION AND MANY OF GUINEA BISSAU’S PEOPLE HAVE LOST THEIR HOPE TO SEE THE COUNTRY BETTER. But our hope is in Christ Jesus.
There is a level of death and sickness and much hunger in the land, no righteousness, and fear of the Lord among the politicians.

I GET THESE KIND OF EMAILS AND REQUESTS FOR PRAYER QUITE FREQUENTLY AND IF YOU’RE NOT CAREFUL YOU CAN BECOME CALLOUS TO THEM. This is my whole point in posting this.

Image result for compassion images

Your natural mind may have these thoughts and excuses: After all, I’m not God. I can’t meet everyone’s needs. My compassion has its limits. I’m tired, have my own challenges, etc., etc., etc. A person can train himself to turn these needs off and go about his business.

But I refuse to go there in my heart and mind. I don’t ever want to be the least bit callous toward suffering humanity. Instead, I’ve trained myself to ask the Holy Spirit if He’s calling me to pray for this situation or do something about it.

So I am praying for this nation, and because I’ve ministered there several times in past years and know this pastor, I send him money grams from time to time to help. But after reading this desperate email I felt the Lord calling me to do more. So I sent a request to a large evangelistic ministry to pray about doing a major crusade in this nation and possibly helping with some of the physical needs. It’s something so small and cost me nothing but a few minutes to send them this request, but it could make a tremendous difference in turning this nation around and bringing hope and healing to multitudes.

Oh, and by the way, the aforementioned pastor just lost one of his children, a 9 year old sweet boy, to a drowning accident a few weeks ago. And yet, in the midst of his own sorrows he is leading his church and fighting for his country. That alone touches me deeply.

Please don’t allow callousness or “compassion fatigue” to set into your heart. In spite of our own nation’s struggles, we are still the most prosperous and powerful nation on the earth and we have been blessed with many resources to help the world.

Don’t allow your heart to be hardened by the many tragedies, wars, deaths, violence, injustices, and human needs of humanity. Don’t let these things just be another headline in the daily news. Don’t just scroll through them on a daily basis without much care and concern. Continually place yourself in the shoes of others who are suffering. How would you want to be treated if you were them?

Allow your heart to be broken on a daily basis. Stay in close communion with God’s great compassionate heart and His deep affections. Go to prayer. Groan for the manifestation of the sons of God and the deliverance of sinful, fallen humanity. Do what God is calling you to do.

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A NEW SPIRITUAL DOOR TO A NEW ERA IS OPENING

This is another excerpt from my new soon-to-be released book, Cleansing The Temple: Restoring The Glory Of The Lord.

A few years ago, as my wife and I were praying, she saw a very large door and heard a distinct squeaking sound as it turned on its hinges. It was an ancient spiritual door that had not been opened in a long time.

We believe it is similar to the spiritual door that opened in the time of Jesus’ birth. After 400 years of silence, with no prophetic vision or revelation, since the days of the prophet Malachi, a large door began to open, and God finally began to speak through certain consecrated individuals.

“And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple” (Lk. 2:25-27).

This old man, Simeon, was waiting for the Consolation of Israel. The phrase “Consolation of Israel” is linked to the redemption of Israel that some in Jerusalem were looking for (Lk. 2:38) and of the kingdom of God (Lk. 23:51). Prior to the time of Jesus’ birth, there was a “remnant” in Israel who had revelation of what was coming, and they were waiting.

The Consolation of Israel involved the coming of the Messiah and the revealing of salvation for all nations (Lk. 2:29-32). Simeon even knew by revelation that the Gentiles would be offered salvation as well (v. 32). This was unheard of in those days, as the Jews had been God’s chosen people for centuries of time. Many Jews never received this revelation of the salvation of the Gentiles, even when it came through Jesus and the apostles.

Anna was another old woman, a prophetess, who received revelation by the Spirit of God concerning the coming Messiah.

“Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Lk. 2:36-38).

Notice how Anna spoke of Christ to “all those who looked for redemption in Israel”. A large spiritual door had now opened.

WITH EVERY OPEN DOOR COMES THE RELEASE OF DIVINE ACTIVITY BUT ALSO ADVERSARIES

Try to imagine the divine activity that was suddenly happening in Israel during the time of Jesus’ birth. Besides this revelation that was given to Simeon and Anna, there were warnings and direction given in dreams to the wise men and Joseph (Matt. 1:20; 2:12-13, 19-20, 22). There were angelic visitations granted to Zacharias, father to John the Baptist (Lk. 1:11-20), the virgin Mary (Lk. 1:26-38), and the shepherds (Lk. 2:9-15). There were infillings of the Holy Spirit (Lk. 1:41, 67) and prophecies (Lk. 1:42-55, 67-79). Remember, this kind of divine activity had not happened in about 400 years.

As it was in the time of Jesus’ birth when a huge door was opened that resulted in all this divine activity — as it was when Jesus began and fulfilled His public ministry about 30 years later, as it was in the days just prior to and after His crucifixion and resurrection, as it was in the days of the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and as it was in the time of the early Church, so will it be in the last days, just prior to the second coming of the Lord.

But as it was during the time of these events 2,000 years ago, when only a remnant knew and understood these things, and there were also many adversaries, much opposition, and demonic activity, so will it be in the last days just before Jesus’ return. Many will not be ready, and the opposition will be great as Satan’s lease on the Earth shortens.

And as the Lord prepared His remnant and revealed to them the time of His birth, so He is preparing His people today for that which is yet to come. Isn’t it interesting that nearly a generation later after the birth of Jesus, many still did not receive Him as the Messiah? Many did not receive their time of visitation (Lk. 19:41-44), and it resulted in their judgment.

Interestingly, it was immediately after Jesus pronounced judgment on Jerusalem that He cleansed the temple for a second time, as Luke records it (Lk. 19:45-46). But it was the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people who vehemently opposed Jesus and sought to destroy Him (v. 47-48). And so it is today as the time of Jesus’ return draws nearer.

We are now in a time of preparation for the coming crisis of last days events, especially as it pertains to the judgment of the world, the final harvest, and also the glory that is to come. There are a company of John the Baptist-like messengers who are of the spirit and power of Elijah (Lk. 1:17), and who function as a Refiner’s Fire by the power of the Holy Spirit, which will cleanse and purify those who receive their words and ministry.

Let me say it another way: Before the worst shall come and the day of darkness encompasses us about, there will be those who shall be sent by the Lord, who shall carry the fulness of His truth and fire, not only to America but to other nations. For there is a work that must be done — first and foremost spiritually — before the Lord returns. This work has already begun.

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Thank you, and may God’s richest and best be yours.