Let me point out the obvious for a moment. This world in which we live can suck the life right out of us!
Just like you, I am hearing there is an uptick in Covid cases. And I have a good friend on a ventilator. . .
Vaccination is proving marginally effective at best, yet determinations are being made for what is to come--masking laws are ramping up, what will it all mean?
Besides that, I have another dear friend with cancer fighting for her life . . . I have children who have walked away from God, though I pray daily that he will draw them back to himself. And of course, there is more. Hmmm . . .
We have been reading about the courage of Paul, and I ask myself honestly, 'how did Paul keep his head on straight?' We can read right over the fact that he was dragged out of the city and stoned, because stoning is totally unfamiliar to us; but can you stop a moment and imagine the immense pain of rocks being thrown at you until you have fallen down in a heap covering your head, finally passing out--so beaten up, bruised and wounded, you are taken for dead? How did Paul bat down the fear of this happening to him again and still continue to preach Jesus?
Friends, without facing anything like the apostle Paul, some of us are losing the battle on fear and worry and that ought not be! Huh, how did Paul face real fears and stay. his. course? Paul remembered in the nighttime--of any fears--what he knew to be true in the daylight. God is in control and he is trustworthy,
Can we grab ahold of the truth on which Paul was standing? From his heart,
"Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up.
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.1
Paul’s mission, Paul’s purpose was clear—to him and to everyone who knew him: live for Jesus and point others to him. Period. Or die while doing it. It kept him on point, do you know what I mean? Paul lived life. on. purpose. So may I ask, are you just drifting through your life letting it happen to you? Well then, when you hit a bump in the road, that explains why you are easily thrown off your course! Even in discouragement, Paul knew his life’s goal . . . and he knew what it was to stay on course.
Here’s the ticket:
> Choose to live each day to glorify God,
and when trouble hits, look for God-oriented solutions to life’s situations.
Stop thinking about yourself so much and instead turn your focus toward God. “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”2
Yes, let us keep our focus on God! Remember: we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!3
With proper thinking, proper focus and intention: You will find yourself back at the top of your game, keeping fear and worry in check. Amen? Amen!
Believe for it with me! CeCe Winans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnJDccj0bQQ
We must, for the sake of the Gospel, and all who need it,
be at the top of our games!
1 - 2 Corinthians 4.1,6-10, NLT
2 - Hebrews 12.1-2
3 - Philippians 4.13