It’s a Wonderful Life: 3 Stories of Faith and Hope
Discussing current events and how they relate to Biblical prophesy. What are some critical signs are pointing to the imminent Rapture of the Church?
Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he? (the angel Clarence in “It’s a Wonderful Life”)
Why was I not stillborn;
why didn’t I die as I came from the womb? (Job 3:11)
It’s a Wonderful Life is the perfect Christmas story, and is considered one of the greatest films of all time. In the 1946 Capra classic, an angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.
The movie was based on a short story, “The Greatest Gift” by American author Philip Van Doren Stern. The story came from a dream he had during the night—complete from start to finish, which is a most unusual occurrence in the writing world.
Throughout the film, George Bailey’s life often seems anything but wonderful. The audience watches as a young man with worldly dreams encounters setback after setback, each one like a nail in his own coffin. Trapped in his hometown, running his late father’s business, the story comes to a climax when George Bailey believes he’s worth more dead than alive.
After Clarence finishes up his life review and George decides to live again, George runs home to find the bank examiner and sheriff waiting to arrest him for mishandling his customers’ funds. Even though he’s not worried anymore after his epically perspective-altering experience, all of the townspeople chip in their dollars to bail him out.
The Holy Bible is full of inspirational stories about overcoming through faith and hope.
The Book of Job is a perfect example. It is one of the most celebrated pieces of biblical literature, not only because it explores some of the most profound questions humans ask about their lives, but also because it was extremely well written.
Job lived during the time of the patriarchs, approximately 2100 to 1900 BC. His long lifespan generally corresponded to that of Terah (Abraham’s father). Job was a wealthy man living in a land called Uz with his large family and extensive flocks. He was “blameless” and “upright,” always careful to avoid doing evil.
One day, Satan (“the Adversary”) appeared before God in heaven. God boasted to Satan about Job’s goodness, but Satan argued that Job was only good because God has blessed him abundantly.
Satan challenged God that, if given permission to punish the man, Job would turn and curse God. God allowed Satan to torment Job to test this bold claim, but he forbid Satan to take Job’s life in the process.
Unknown to Job or Job’s friends, God and Satan did in fact view Job as “blameless and upright.” This contrast shows the folly of the three friends who ignored Job’s pain while purporting to encourage him. The interaction also shows the folly of trying to understand God’s ways. The three friends and Job had a serious theological conversation about a situation that actually was a battle between God and Satan. The fault of Job and his friends was in trying to explain the nature of God with only the limited information available to human knowledge.
The Lord finally makes His appearance to Job, and talks to him directly:
Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind. He said:
Who is this who obscures My counsel
with ignorant words?
Get ready to answer Me like a man;
when I question you, you will inform Me.
Where were you when I established the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who fixed its dimensions? Certainly you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
What supports its foundations?
Or who laid its cornerstone
while the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:1-7)
Can you fasten the chains of the Pleiades
or loosen the belt of Orion?
Can you bring out the constellations in their season
and lead the Bear and her cubs?
Do you know the laws of heaven?
Can you impose its authority on earth? (Job 38: 31-33)
Who put wisdom in the heart
or gave the mind understanding? (Job 38: 36)
After the Lord is finished with His discourse, Job is humbled:
Then Job replied to the Lord:
I know that You can do anything
and no plan of Yours can be thwarted.
You asked, “Who is this who conceals My counsel with ignorance?”
Surely I spoke about things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know. (Job 42: 1-6)
The Book of Hebrews includes a story of faith that overcomes adversity:
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. For our ancestors won God’s approval by it.
By faith we understand that the universe was created by God’s command, so that what is seen has been made from things that are not visible.
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was approved as a righteous man, because God approved his gifts, and even though he is dead, he still speaks through his faith.
By faith Enoch was taken away so he did not experience death, and he was not to be found because God took him away. For prior to his removal he was approved, since he had pleased God. Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.
By faith Noah, after he was warned about what was not yet seen and motivated by godly fear, built an ark to deliver his family. By faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed as a foreigner in the land of promise, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, coheirs of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
By faith even Sarah herself, when she was unable to have children, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age, since she considered that the One who had promised was faithful.
Therefore from one man—in fact, from one as good as dead—came offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as innumerable as the grains of sand by the seashore.
These all died in faith without having received the promises, but they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they were thinking about where they came from, they would have had an opportunity to return. But they now desire a better place—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He received the promises and he was offering his unique son, the one it had been said about, Your seed will be traced through Isaac. He considered God to be able even to raise someone from the dead, and as an illustration, he received him back.
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and he worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, as he was nearing the end of his life, mentioned the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions concerning his bones.
By faith, after Moses was born, he was hidden by his parents for three months, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they didn’t fear the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter and chose to suffer with the people of God rather than to enjoy the short-lived pleasure of sin. For he considered the reproach because of the Messiah to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, since his attention was on the reward.
By faith he left Egypt behind, not being afraid of the king’s anger, for Moses persevered as one who sees Him who is invisible. By faith he instituted the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn might not touch the Israelites. By faith they crossed the Red Sea as though they were on dry land. When the Egyptians attempted to do this, they were drowned.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after being encircled by the Israelites for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute received the spies in peace and didn’t perish with those who disobeyed.
And what more can I say?
Time is too short for me to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the raging of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength after being weak, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight.
Women received their dead—they were raised to life again. Some men were tortured, not accepting release, so that they might gain a better resurrection, and others experienced mockings and scourgings, as well as bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and on mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.
All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us. (Hebrews 11:1-40)
The point of these stories is that we all matter.
We all impact upon those around us.
And, we all have the ability to make the world a better place.
On February 6, 1999, while I was praying the Lord spoke to me in a loud voice.
He said, “Tell them that I love them. Tell them that I care. Tell them that I am coming for them. Prepare, like a man who has been told he has just a short time to live. Heal, forgive, and perform those acts of charity that you have been putting off.
Tell everyone that I am coming soon for My bride.”
At this point, He said, “What do you see?” I looked down at the pattern on the bed. It was a pattern of budding flowers.
He said, “Open yourself up to praise Me…receive My love…stretch yourself out to Me”. After that, He said: “My reward is with Me”.
If you are not sure that you are saved, you can accept Christ into your life right now, by praying:
“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior.”
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For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
Eagles Arise International Ministries is a Christian, mission-centered enterprise. Through the Rapture and End Times website, we provide eschatology-related information to a global community.
Each day, millions around the world turn to the internet for answers to their spiritual questions. They’re looking for truth, for something to fill the emptiness within. They ask questions like: ‘Am I loved?’ ‘Is there a God?’ ‘What’s my purpose in life?’
Think about all the money it costs to put on a mass evangelism event like a Billy Graham crusade. You have to rent a stadium, advertise your event, and hire people to help you setup and tear down. Plus, you’ll need to coordinate hundreds of volunteers to help.
But, even people in poverty-stricken countries can now afford a relatively cheap phone or tablet. The thing is that whether they buy an expensive product or a cheap one, all these devices are capable of giving a digital presentation of the gospel.
When Jesus gave the commandment, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation,’ the disciples were on foot. There was no television, no radio, no airplanes, and certainly no internet. What a difference 2,000 years can make! Or for that matter, 10 years. Today, more and more people are coming to faith in Christ by logging onto the World Wide Web.
The internet may be the greatest tool that God has ever given the church to help take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Internet evangelism is strategically using internet, mobile, and social media platforms to meet the needs of others and share the Gospel with the online world.
With internet evangelism, we share the Good News 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We meet people in their moment of need with the hope of Jesus Christ.
Through online ministry, our mission field is expanding to reach people we might never reach in person. They need to know that Jesus Christ is the only One who gives us true purpose and fulfills our greatest need.
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