This morning I was reading about General MacArthur forging ahead, sailing headlong into the Pacific Theater of World War II in March of 1942... physically weakened by his time in the Philippines and down 25 pounds himself, moving into an uncertain future in the Pacific, yet knowing he was called to do so. Hmmm . . .
So many people are struggling today--worry, sickness, mental illness, marriages in trouble, concern about the future... how can we stay strong, in spite of what is going on around us? Friend, if MacArthur had a calling, how much more do we--children of God, born into this challenging time! We are to stay the course, bring others to God, and finish well--yes, that is what we are called to do.
And again, Paul. Why in the world did Paul insist on continuing his journey to Jerusalem, knowing that what awaited him was prison, chains and death? And how did he remain strong in the face of what was coming? Because he knew his calling and he looked to God to remain faithful to that calling. Take a look ~
The passage: Acts 20.22-27: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+20.22-27&version=NLT
When fear, worry or a tidal wave of difficulty is threatening to overwhelm you, here are some things to bear in mind:
>God is your refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble1 . . .before you start worrying, turn to God, ask him for help.
>Ask God for wisdom daily.2 The wisdom of God supplies us with discretion, discernment, prudence, judiciousness and understanding. And one more thing: because God sees time in all one piece, the wisdom of God guides us according to what he knows--for today, for tomorrow and eternity.
As you are endeavoring to stay upright,
>Have some statements of truth ready to counter the arrows that come your way especially at nighttime when you are weary… such as “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”3
>Retrain your mind, discipline your thinking—instead of worrying and complaining, thank God specifically for the good things in your life, naming each one.4
>Let go of the past. Again, Paul: “…one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”5 While the past cannot be changed, our view toward it can. We can accept the mercy of God, and allow it to transform us—choosing to cast our gaze forward and heavenward, rather than always looking backward over our shoulder or from side to side. [reread that last sentence] After all, this world is not our home; we are just passing through on our way to Gloryland! Look beyond, look toward your eternal home, for this life is just a flash in the pan by comparison.
In closing, be encouraged by David’s words--
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.”6
Powerful song: Every Victory, Danny Gokey, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pC5wGDgUqhI
God gives us strength to do what he has asked us to do because he who called us is faithful, he has won the victory!
1 - Psalm 46.1
2 - Philippians 4.13
3 - James 1.5 – If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
4 - 1 Thessalonians 5.18 – Give thanks always!
5 – Philippians 3.13-14
6 - Psalm 40.1-3