I, along with many others, have been working from home during this unusual time. This particular morning as I was doing some work, I decided to listen to Max Lucado’s audio devotional about being “Anxious for Nothing.” I began to jot down quotes and notes as I listened and at some point I began to pen my own thoughts along with some of his…
The Bible certainly makes it clear that there are plenty of circumstances that gender…
But the Bible also makes clear what our response should be and the steps for getting there…
Paul urges, yes even commands us to be
anxious for nothing.
Max Lucado suggests this is a directive to not be in a “perpetual state of anxiety.” So, then, when anxiety knocks, rather than simply trying to forget about the source of the anxiety, we are to fill the void by replacing it. What should be our response, then? I believe it is a call to…
direct our mind elsewhere.
Where is elsewhere?
To the Master of the Wind, the Maker of the Rain, the Creator of all things, the Restorer, the Redeemer, and the One Who will make all things right in the end. The One Who inhabits eternity, the One Who will make all things new and has prepared a place for us to enjoy it with Him.
Uncertainty is real.
But the certainty of God,
His existence, His providence, His presence, His involvement in the events of the world around us, His love, His righteousness, and His righteous judgment
is cause to…rejoice.
Yes, rejoice. Not over the bad that’s happening around us or to us but
…that He is in control. Not micro managing but in control. Nothing can happen that He doesn’t allow and yet, He is always working all things (good and bad) for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. His purpose will stand. He tells us nothing can snatch us from Him. He’s promised. And He always tells the truth.
How do we rejoice in Him? We lift our eyes from below and as Colossians 3 says, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.”
“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
“To rejoice in the Lord is a call – not to a feeling – but to a decision” says Lucado. And this decision is deeply rooted in my confidence that God is real – that He is good – that He is ultimately in control of everything.
Confidence in God’s perfect management of the universe (not micromanagement but unilateral control and management of the things that are part of His plan and fulfill His purposes)… this confidence enables us to see ourselves not as victims of circumstances…but as victors in Christ.
You see, as Lucado states it,
“belief precedes behavior.”
So let diseases rage. Let the powers that be flex their muscles. Let the economy collapse. Let storm winds blow.
But because of what I believe –
because I have erected, as Max Lucado puts it, “cast iron stabilizers” in the center of my soul,
I can hold fast to my faith in God, in spite of my circumstances.
Want to change how you’re heart is reacting?
How my heart is reacting?
To perplexity. To evil. To sinister motives that could affect me. To calamity. To uncertainty. To isolation. To loneliness. To anger. To fear.
Change what you believe.
Relinquish control (that isn’t really control anyway) to a God Who IS in control.
And who has promised a wonderful forever.
Even separation in this life cannot affect eternity – when you are choosing to
sink your full weight of…decision making, lifestyle, manner of conversation, attitude, trust –
in the One Who…
…hung the stars for you to look at every night, the moon to draw your eyes upward to Him, the sun that is just the perfect distance away, the waves that crash in the sea, the mountains that tower over us in majesty, the earth that wakes with spring after every winter’s sleep, the universe bigger than we can imagine, and the workhorse operation of the tiny cells in our frail and fragile bodies.
This. Is. The. God. We. Serve.
This is the God whose ways are far above our ways. Whose thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Whose hands hold the sea. Who measures heaven with the span. Who weighs those mighty mountains in a scales. To whom the nations are as dust in the scale and are as a drop in the bucket. (Isaiah 40)
Yes, this is the God Who we serve.
He is above all.
And He is coming again with power and majesty to bring us home with Him and also to judge the nations. Sinister minds at work? God reserves all judgment. Hearts that trust in Him? God reserves all judgment. To life or to death.
As you stay “inside,” look inside.
Look inside your heart. See what fear is there that can be replaced with trust again. See what anger is there that can be replaced with mercy. See what victim mentality is there that can to be replaced with that of victor. See what despondency is there that can be replaced with full dependency on the One Who provides. See what anxiety is there that can be replaced with rejoicing in Him.
Reflect on Who He is.
Rejoice in His tender love. His promises. His provisions. His miracles. The fact that He is “Emmanuel” – God WITH us.
My belief changes my response to life. And in so doing, changes my life.
“God’s indescribable. Incomprehensible. He’s amazing. And far beyond what I can comprehend. But I know this is true. That God loves me and you. And He’s with us in the good and bad. When we’re sad and when we’re glad. Bigger than what I can see. Yet He lives inside of me. And I can live with Him eternally.”
This. Is cause to rejoice.
And let anxiety slither away.
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
“Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.
Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.
Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.”
I Chronicles 29:11-13