Our last look at Jesus was on the cross, but we know the story does not end there. We know Jesus walks out of the tomb! From Mark 16 “the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.” He did it! Just what he said he would do but hold up a second.
Metaphorically speaking, what about you and me? Does ‘it’s Friday, but Sunday’s comin’ have personal application for us in any other way? We know how the Story ends—that is, when our own Sunday comes—because as devoted followers of Jesus, we will live with him forever. Eternal life with him will be glorious, beyond what we can think or imagine.
But what about when we are ‘in the middle’ of difficulty? Though we know how the Story ends, we are living in a perpetual Saturday, trying to stay hopeful, endeavoring to be faithful, trusting God each day.
Here’s the thing: Jesus told us, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”1 Trouble may not be the trials James speaks of in the first chapter of his great little book2, but just the daily challenges of life—making a living, managing our health and well-being, maintaining good family relationships and being faithful to God in a world that is growing more hostile to him daily.
You see we are all living in the Saturday, we are all living in the “Not Yet” before we are one day with God forever.
In the middle of the night, I lay awake thinking of those who are managing heartache and the like, and I prayed for them, hence this Morning Briefing. Talking to the Lord on my back porch early this morning, I asked him for some encouragement for you—and doggonit, for me, too as my plate is full.
You see, trusting God might be part of who we truly are as individuals, but then the phone call comes, something out of our control happens, what then? I’ve got to tell you, I can be ever so sure, ever so aware, and then I get a disturbing phone call from someone I love and boom--my God-trusting mental peace is threatened!
Is there some other way of living so I am not the flimflam man? Yes, I believe so.
Hmmm. First, trusting God happens as a dint of our will. What we believe in our hearts and minds must convert to our intentional actions.
Second, being a simple person, I have a simple solution for being faithful to what I say I believe--that God is trustworthy, he will keep his promises, and take care of me. I call it the Trust Plan.
1. 15-Minute Resolution. Appoint 15 minutes for God each morning. Get up, read scripture, pray/communicate with the Lord. *For your fifteen, you might use these briefings for two days. First day – read/listen. Second day – look up the scripture verses, make a note of them, apply them! For instance, consider these powerful verses:
--The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.3
--[He] is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.4
When I go into my day with these two thoughts in mind, I am not just hopeful, but I see things more clearly; I do not strive under my own feeble power, but his, remembering that “The Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”5
2. Mindfulness. What reminds you of God’s faithfulness? A picture, a word, or a verse that will instantly center you on the Rock, rather than the shifting sand of circumstances. How about music?
3. Technology. Is your media intake helpful? I love what Paul said on this: “Everything is permissible,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything builds up.6
Consider how you feel, what you think about after you listen to that, or watch such and such a thing?
Are you better for your time engaged on social media… or yikes, pornography?
4. Do not be an island. You were made for community.
Get intentional AND associate, communicate and affiliate with other faith-filled Christ followers—especially positive, optimistic ones, who really do live as though they know God is Able, he is on the throne, and he has got this!
We trust God, we do believe he is able, but the challenge is to keep his promises uppermost in our minds as we go throughout our day—at work, in the classroom, at home, in our vehicles, on the soccer field, in the gym, at the beach or in the mountains. I just gave you a simple solution to increase your awareness of his presence and involvement in your life...The Trust Plan.
Because God is more than able, and if you are like me, you want to live like you really believe that. You want to live even as we say, "in God we trust" … so determine to be intentional and spend time with to start each day. Whaddayasay?
Then you can sing this with me: It is Well, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNqo4Un2uZI
following in the footsteps of Jesus, Mark, #53
1 – John 16.33
2 – James 1.2-4… Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
3 – Lamentations 3.22,23
4 – Ephesians 3.20
5 – Psalm 100.5
6 - 1 Corinthians 10.23