Monday, March 7, 2016

Overcoming The Pull Of Our Troubles

Going through a rough time? There are plenty of things in this world and in our life that can be difficult to face. If we choose, we can fixate on these things so they become the major thing in our life. We can know that it is not a healthy way to live but we have no real power in ourselves to turn from it. Often it is like an accident scene on the highway. We don't really want to look but we are drawn to see what happened.

Christians should have an advantage over such things; we have something much bigger to fixate on. When we consider how big our God is everything else should fade away. As we consider such verses:

"Before the mountains were born, before you birthed the earth and the inhabited world - from forever in the past to forever in the future, you are God." (Psalm 90:2)

we are overwhelmed by our God's foreverness. What are our problems compared to his forever glory? But it goes beyond his largeness.

We have a God of great compassion and that compassion is for us. Even before considering Jesus we can see it in the Psalm that follows what we have just considered:

Living in the Most High’s shelter,
    camping in the Almighty’s shade,
I say to the Lord, “You are my refuge, my stronghold!
    You are my God—the one I trust!”
God will save you from the hunter’s trap
    and from deadly sickness.
God will protect you with his pinions;
    you’ll find refuge under his wings.
    His faithfulness is a protective shield.
Don’t be afraid of terrors at night,
    arrows that fly in daylight,
    or sickness that prowls in the dark,
    destruction that ravages at noontime.
Even if one thousand people fall dead next to you,
    ten thousand right beside you—
    it won’t happen to you.

This is the compassion, mercy, grace of our God for those who choose to trust him. Jesus told us not to worry about common things like food and clothes when we seem to be lacking. He told us that our Father knows what we need and will provide such things. So instead of adding worry to our day, chasing after the things Jesus promised, he told us to seek the things of the Kingdom.

Our problems belong to this world but we don't. We are citizens of the Kingdom and our hearts are possessed by the Kingdom. We live by a different set of rules and principles. When we set our heart and mind on these Kingdom things then we will be possessed by the peace Jesus promised he had given to us. And he cared enough to point out that he doesn't give as the world gives.

That sounds great in principle but we have to live the practicality of what Jesus taught. That requires making choices throughout our daily living. We have to choose to trust him, to live by his words, to live in intimate relationship, to be possessed by his joy. Remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. This means the gladness we have in knowing God will sustain us in whatever we are facing.

The best thing is we can seek his council for action and direction. We are not orphans. We are the children of God and he looks after his own. So instead of staring into the abyss of your troubles, fix yourself on the wonder of our God, allowing your mouth to be filled with praise and watch and see how quick our Father is to act on your behalf.  

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