I hope you had an excellent start to your work/school week yesterday. We are a blessed people with a Father who constantly watches over us and desires to give us good things. Often all we have to do is receive those blessings from him. However, on occasion, we miss those blessings because we have become distracted by things from the world. I don't necessarily mean pleasurable things, although that happens as well, but more the challenges and difficulties of life. There are plenty of them and perhaps yesterday was one of those days when you missed the blessings due to the distractions.
I am not saying that we live in some kind of bubble where nothing from this world touches us. There were followers of Jesus who lost their lives in the recent rash of tornadoes in the United States. Christians lost all that they owned. Believers have been inundated by flood waters along the Mississippi, in Manitoba and Quebec. Disciples of Jesus die every day from accidents and diseases. These are all part of the tragic world we live in, a world run a muck because of the fall of Man.
It isn't just the disasters and diseases that can prove to be a distraction but the results of man's sin can also be overwhelming. Jealousy, hatred, pride can all take away from the joy of our living. An inconsiderate neighbour who parties until 2 AM is a very selfish person. A co-worker who stirs up trouble and starts rumours because she is jealous of your recent promotion. A friend who was not really a friend, who walked away over a simple misunderstanding. A child who lies, cheats and steals even though they have been taught and trained differently. Any of these things could have ended up as a distraction that caused us to miss the blessings of our Father yesterday.
We do not live in a bubble of protection from these things but we live in a place of unnatural peace as we stand on the promises of Jesus Christ. We can never lose sight that our God, the Creator of the heavens and earth, the giver and taker of life, the ruler of all things is greater than all the circumstances of our life. Jesus encourages us with this promise:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
This is the reason the Apostle Paul was able to write by the Spirit:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)
It is because Jesus has overcome this world that we are more than conquerors through him. It isn't that we live in a bubble but more that we possess a peace that goes beyond reason, that goes beyond understanding, that goes beyond what is natural in these situations. Sometimes it takes moments like these to wake us up from our slumber, to cause us to open our eyes, that help us realize what true treasures we possess. Sometimes we are distracted by what looks attractive in this world only to find out how ugly it truly is but in that moment Jesus is with us showing us his beauty. When reason, tradition, opinions, and people fail us, Jesus is there to take our hand.
If you missed the Father's blessings yesterday the good news is that you have another opportunity today. Don't allow yesterday's troubles to follow you into today but instead trust Jesus. Perhaps you lost everything in a flood or tornado but it is no reason to lose your joy or your peace. If you love the Lord then the Father loves you and he has his way of restoring all things. Trust him and sing his praises instead of falling into despair. The World is watching and wanting to know if your faith is authentic or fake. Realize there are bigger things than your current problems and realize that your treasure is found in a place that no flood, wind or person can touch. Make sure your eyes are fixed on Jesus today and you will be amazed by what the Father will do in you, through you and for you today. Jesus has overcome this world which makes us more than conquerors. Act like it, act upon it, walk in his mercy and grace and allow the Father's blessings to flow through you today so that your light shines in the darkness.