Remaining strong no matter what...the great value of self discipline.
I know, I know . . . I was poised to launch into Acts 15, but I had several conversations with people who have been knocked for a loop, wondering what in the world is going on. Come on, we all thought that Covid-19 would be in our rearview mirrors now; alas, it is not. I want to encourage you of your Hope, your Rock!! I want to remind you who you are, my friend!
You are a child of the King - do you think he has forgotten you? Do you wonder if he is taking a nap, leaving the world on cruise control? No and no.
So, child of royalty, when fear, worry or a tidal wave threatening to overwhelm you arises, here are some things to bear in mind:
>Remember that God is your refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble1 . . . before you start your worrying, turn to him and ask him for help, friend!
>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, if we ask him for wisdom, he guides us according to what he knows--for today, for tomorrow and eternity.
>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, move to thanksgiving and praise.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. 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
Many years ago now, I went to see a girl band at the Orange County fairgrounds on a balmy July evening--turns out they were just the backup band for this guy--David Crowder. Man, oh man - what a force this ZZ Top lookin dude! His song reminds me of everything I just touched upon: Good, God Almighty - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TzECToPYIk
Yeah, that’s how I hope He finds me--praising his name no matter what comes!
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