Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Is There Something Disturbing You Today?

If we are filled with worry and fear we do not trust God. Either that or we do not believe him. I am learning to take God at his word: if he said it I believe it. I can't see any other way of doing it. We can't sit on the fence about faith and trust. Jesus gave us a lot of promises but what good is a promise if we choose not to believe or to trust the one who has given it. Most people would deny that they don't trust God but the fact is we can see it all over their face as soon as they hit a crisis. It is amazing what crisis and stress will reveal in a person. It is not always pretty.

Jesus told his disciples to trust him and not to allow themselves to be disturbed or troubled. John 14 starts off with the clear command from Jesus:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." (John 14:1)

He couldn't get any more straightforward than that: Trust me! He repeats himself a little further on:

"Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)

There is a reason Jesus was able to tell us this with such confidence. He was leaving so he could send the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, who would enable Jesus to be one with us, each of us, everywhere all at once. That's so much better than what the disciples had at that moment but they could not even imagine how good it would be. Jesus told them:

“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:25-26) 

Jesus taught many things of which the Holy Spirit would remind us but the Spirit also teaches us what we have not yet learned. In another place Jesus talks about how everything he has he received from the Father and the Holy Spirit would take these things and give them to us. In one place Jesus refers to him as the Comforter because he provides comfort for those who follow Jesus but here he refers to him as the Counselor because he will provide leadership, direction and guidance to the followers of Jesus. We don't have to go it alone, Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, is with us all the way. It is for this reason that Jesus also promised peace:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

We have all kinds of measuring rods we can use to judge if we have the relationship with Jesus that we ought to have and this is one of the best. Jesus has promised us peace based on this wonderful "oneness" relationship with him. Having Jesus with us in all things, trusting the Spirit for counsel in what we need to do and the direction we need to take, knowing we are in God's will and in his caring hands, should keep us in a constant state of peace. The only thing that can disturb that peace is mistrust which breeds worry and fear. We are not suppose to have anything to do with worry and fear. If these things are a daily part of our life and we have no peace, we have a weak relationship with Jesus: God is not a liar.

It is a most unfortunate truth that many of us give no consideration to God while making decisions about our life and daily activities. He's not even a second thought. Then we have the nerve to turn around and complain to him as our decisions lead us to disaster. He has promised us good counsel and to teach us well, but we have to train ourselves to listen. It is good to know that, when we realize our mistake, he does not leave us to suffer in it as he responds to our pleas with his mercy and grace. However, we don't need to go there in the first place.

He has told us to trust him as he sends us the Counselor to be with us as our guide, teacher and source of strength. He has also promised us peace in this proper relationship with him. It really is as simple as that. But we have to stop making decisions on our own without consulting with God. If we are not looking for guidance we will not receive any. However, once we receive it then we need to trust whole heartedly that it is the perfect direction, no matter what it looks like in the flesh. We have to go beyond expecting God's provision and accept the total package; he needs to guide us according to his will. It is a matter of trust which leads to obedience but must spring from the root of love. Fear and worry are a sign of a weak relationship; peace tells you that all is well with your soul.

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