As I sit at my desk today, I’m drawn to the unrest and uncertainty surrounding all of us in our current world climate. My mind races back and forth from the unsettling build up of over 25,000 troops in our nation's capital to the tens of thousands of people trying to escape Honduras and get to our southern border. At the same time my thoughts are with those of our FCC family and surrounding community members that are dealing with difficult situations from anxiety to financial burdens caused by COVID, quarantines, lockdowns and shutdowns. My mind is drawn to being overwhelmed with more negative news about COVID than what I can handle. All of these issues are real, but I must remind myself to take a moment of pause... to breathe... to simply trust God.
Charles Swindoll said:
"When you accept the fact that sometimes seasons are dry and times are hard and that God is in control of both, you will discover a sense of divine refuge, because the hope then is in God and not in yourself.”
I want us to take a moment of pause... to think about these 3 thoughts to keep us from loosing our minds.
1) WE HAVE ULTIMATE HOPE
Our hope is not in government or any person of this world. Our hope is found in the promise of God our Father. That promise is bigger than any crisis, any situation, any election, any trouble that will come our way. Our hope is rooted in this fact...
2 Thessalonians 2:15-17 New Living Translation
With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.
So the next time you are overwhelmed... take a moment of pause and remember that by God's grace you have been given eternal comfort, wonderful hope, comfort and strength. The next time you feel overwhelmed with the world around you... remember that God's grace and Jesus Christ are with you and are watching over you. If you believe that Jesus is the Christ and follow Him with your life, then your life is a watched over life.
Psalm 1:6 New Living Translation
6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
2) WE HAVE A PATH THAT IS GOOD
I know that I don't always walk the path that God wants me to, but I know that I'm trying each day to be more like Jesus than the day before. I know that at times I'm full of worry and doubt in my fellow man, but I'm reminded that Jesus doesn't worry and doubt. He knows that we are dust and He knows that we need a lot of help along the way.
As you walk through the valley of the unknown, you will find the footprints of Jesus both in front of you and beside you.
As you and I continue to trust in Jesus we know that He is with us always. Even in the midst of struggle and in the midst of turmoil; He is with us and He is before us. The apostle Paul says it correctly - "we are in this struggle together". I pray that when you feel like you are loosing your mind, you will take a moment of pause and know that you are not alone. The path before us is in God's hands and it we have the opportunity to not worry about our future, but continue to trust in God's promise and our future hope.
Philippians 1:28-30 New Living Translation
28 Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. 29 For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. 30 We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.
There is nothing God doesn't know about your life. You may know the past and present, but God also knows the future. Choose today to walk securely - not in what you know, but in what you believe.
3) WE HAVE A SAFE PLACE IN JESUS
I remember a few years ago watching a movie about a family that had a safe room built into their house. It was a place to run to when something went wrong. It was a place to shelter from danger. The safe room was a place of security and strength. I think that we all at times need a "safe place".
As a child we would go to my great uncle's house during really bad storms and we would wait out the storm in his basement. But when the storm was over; we wouldn't stay in that basement - we would come out and get back to whatever we were doing before. At times when we feel overwhelmed we would rather just stay in the basement, but that's not what God wants from us. God wants us to know that we have a "safe place" when needed, but we also have the strength and peace to not feel like we must stay in the basement.
Psalm 29:11 New Living Translation
11 The Lord gives his people strength.
The Lord blesses them with peace.
Romans 15:13 New Living Translation
13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Here's what I know about "safe places"... they bring us confidence. We feel confident that we will be safe from the trouble. We feel safe that we will be protected. We feel secure. We feel strong. We feel at peace; without worry. When we are in safe places our anxiety is in check. Our joy is present and we are confident that no matter what happens on the outside of the safe place - it doesn't matter - we are safe.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.
He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me.
You have not handed me over to my enemies but have set me in a safe place.
But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.
This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.
Friends, I want you to know that we have the ultimate "safe place" - His name is Jesus. So I pray that when you feel the storm coming; when you feel overwhelmed; when you like you are loosing your mind -- take a moment of pause -- remember that Jesus is your safe place. Have a great day and remember to take a moment of pause.... see ya Sunday somewhere!