We never really get “there”, do we? To a place where nothing new is going on, there is nothing that we need God’s guidance or wisdom on, to place of complete contentment living our day to day lives not really anxious or excited for anything.
Honestly, that doesn’t even sound like a place I would want to be! Yes, sometimes we wish life didn’t have so many ups and downs or unexpected twists, but isn’t that what makes things interesting and pushes us to exercise our faith in Christ?
For many of us, the unknown can be scary. We don’t like the “what-ifs” of life and it’s difficult to not silently freak out about upcoming events that you don’t know the outcome of yet.
Whatever you’re anxious about today, whether it’s going back to school, taking the first step into what God recently spoke to you, or starting a new project in your ministry, have faith in God! Turn your anxiety into expectation by giving your situation over to the Lord and trusting Him to meet your needs, give you wisdom, new creative ideas, and peace.
Whenever you feel anxious look at it as an opportunity to flip the switch of faith on and become expectant about the Lord working on your behalf. It may not be easy, but God sees your effort and will meet you every time. When we put ourselves out there and believe in His abilities instead of our own, the results will be far better than anything we could have done without His help.
There is no place for anxiety in the Body of Christ, the Bible says God will give us wisdom (James 1:5), meet all of our needs (Phillipians 4:19), and strengthen us (Isaiah 41:10). So don’t let the unknown trap you in a cage of worry but be expectant and excited, waiting in anticipation of all that the Lord will do for you!
It may not feel like summer is coming to a close since it is still a scorching 100 degrees outside, but sure enough, September is closing in on us fast. Unfortunately, this means no more days at the lake, a whole new school year, and most likely added stress. Just the thought of the upcoming busy days makes your stomach turn, but isn’t there a way for you to be calm no matter what the future months may hold?
There is one thing that we all have in common. Whether you’re a single dad, a teenager that can’t decide where to go to college, a mom drowning in her work, or a happily married couple, we all have a desire – a need, in the depths of our hearts. Peace. We look for it in all the wrong places and sure, there are things in this world that can satisfy our longing for peace in the moment, but nothing will fulfill that ache like the peace that only God Himself can pour out onto us.
We can’t find it in a basement party, baseball game, a night club, or even lunch with a best friend. We have to surrender ourselves and let our caring Heavenly Father do what He does best. Provide for us. Provide His peace and comfort.
Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Did you read that? We are called to peace! Not the peace that we have been struggling to chase after but God-given peace. The verse does not stop there, it ends with “and be thankful.” this reminds me of James 1:2, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” We are also called to be thankful! Thankful for the opportunity to be faithful and let God rule in our lives, giving us His unmatchable peace.
When we turn away from our hopeless attempts to control a need in our lives that we were only ever supposed to let God give, we will reign in life no matter what chaos surrounds us.
“Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
~ 2 Corinthians 13:11
Allow me to paint two pictures for you.
One is a man trying to provide for his young family, carrying all the weight of their needs on his back. He works endless hours, which makes quality time with his family slim and the chance of going to church even slimmer. He’s folding under the pressure and doesn’t see a break in the horizon anytime soon.
The other is the same young man, with the same family, and job, yet a different outlook on his circumstances. With his eyes and arms raised to Heaven, surrendered to God, he trusts Him to provide for his needs. He makes church a priority and through his relationship with his Heavenly Father he gains strength. Even during a stressful season of life he is able to stand tall through the grace of God.
Which position are you in? Whether a young working husband, a single mom, a student just finishing college, are you folding under the pressures of life or letting God hold you up through His provision and grace?
You may be thinking that I don’t know what you’re going through, that I don’t know the weight of what you’re carrying on your shoulders right now, and you’d be right, I don’t. But God does. He sees all the bills that come in the mail, He’s there when your medical situation seems hopeless, He sees when your children are rebelling and turning away from the way you’ve raised them. He knows exactly what to do if you would only lift your eyes and ask for His wisdom.
We were never meant to take care of everything on our own. Matthew 6:31-33 reminds us of this, “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” When we fully surrender ourselves to God and acknowledge that we cannot handle this life on our own, He is there ready to provide, heal, encourage, and pour out His grace.
“And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:19
There is a war going on for your attention. As our world continues to only grow darker, will you allow the opinions and dishonesty of others to lure your focus away from God’s will? There is an astronomical amount of negativity and deceit in our society and daily our Lord and Savior is being mocked, refused, and misunderstood by millions.
As Christians how do we combat this type of living? When it is almost impossible to watch a movie or turn on the radio without seeing or hearing something that threatens your relationship with your Heavenly Father, how can we protect our minds and our faith?
- Refrain from things that do not glorify God
- Continually fill your spirit
- Have fellowship with like-minded believers
I think we often choose to watch or listen to things that do not necessarily glorify God because we believe it’s harmless; but everything has a message, and anything that you give your attention to is preaching to you whether you realize it or not. Choosing to take part in music, television, or radio news that is meant for entertainment but ultimately clouds our minds of God’s guidelines and plan will never help you grow in your faith, or become the witnesses we are all called to be.
In this day and age it is crucial that we fill our spirits with words from the one true and living God. When we read the Bible daily, it amplifies the Holy Spirit’s voice inside of us instead of slowly silencing it. If there has ever been a time where it was more important to be tuned into God’s Spirit, I don’t know it.
Make sure you have a community of like-minded believers around you. Relationships that provide encouragement, support, advice, and love are needed when you are a light in a world that is consumingly dark. To have people that you can pray for and with is not only uplifting, but important.
There is no way to escape the blinding violence, rebellion, and confusion that has seemingly overtaken our society. And we shouldn’t try to escape it. We need to fight for the lost souls that are chained, overwhelmed with shame, and have yet to experience the love and forgiveness of a God they’ve only been taught to see as a dictator. Protect your mind and spirit so that you can set others free.
“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” ~ Ephesians 6:11 NLT