Sometimes the words we write carry eternal weight. So today I’m sharing words I’ve written before because the message was timely five years ago; and it’s still relevant today.
There’s been frenzied-frantic-freak-out talk these last few weeks about the world, the economy, and life in general. I’ve been thinking how it’s so easy to get caught up in the storms raging around us that we lose sight of who and what is most important to us.
Government can’t solve our problems. People can’t solve all problems. They’re fickle and finite, and their efforts–at best are only temporal.
I often find that I can be easily overwhelmed when I do the whole “navel-gazing” thing. I lose focus. I lose sight. I freak out and forget where real peace, joy, and contentment come from. I’m sure I’m not the only one, but something strikes me today–have no fear. Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly. Scripture is replete with dozens and dozens of the phrases “do not fear” and “do not be afraid.” Do we believe it? We are living in a day and time when our faith will be tested in ways we never thought possible. Will you make it? Will you stand after having done all you can like Paul wrote to the Ephesians in 6?
I find that as much as I want to be close to Jesus and more like Him, I like less the suffering, pain, and adversity–even trials that come my way. But then I think to myself, were it not for these things, my faith would have no feet, no roots, no depth. Proverbs 24:10 reads, “If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.” God is strong when I am weak, and He strengthens me to withstand life’s assaults. The failure does not define my identity. It does not keep me from God. It simply reminds me to put my hope in God rather than the frailty of man.
Christianity isn’t about lip service. It’s about living out salvation every day and staying in close, intimate communion with God through Christ. If I am to stand without faltering, then I welcome the trials of life. There was no promise of a rose garden walk with Christ. There was only and always will be that promise that He would never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). I love God. I love His word. I love that He doesn’t leave us helpless.
Take these words from Christ with you today from John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Embrace God through your struggle. Ask that he grant you grace to walk worthy. Believe Him. Remember that He knows you full well and is acquainted with every fiber of your being. Let Him be strong in you. I know that we will find ourselves stronger in Him because we allowed Him to walk with us–along side us–through the valley of the shadow.
Yes, the world is in desperate need. Yes, the economy and our nation are in a horrible mess, but our Great God is bigger and greater than all these things. And in all this we have the promise of His peace. Keep believing. Keep faithing it. Hold to that which is good and eternal.
NKJV Study Bible. Radmacher, gen ed. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997.