Posted by: glorifyhim1 | October 14, 2013

In Times Like These

In Times Like These

To say that we are living in uncertain times is quite an understatement. With our Federal government now entering its 14th day of shutdown and hastening toward the possibility of defaulting on its bonds this week, the majority of Americans, regardless of political persuasion, can do little but wonder what is next. Resulting arguments and debates over spending limits and debt ceilings leave the average American even more bewildered as they are bombarded with all the “what ifs” if the current impasse is not soon resolved.

Our government’s performance, however, is only one of the things that mark the uncertainty of the times in which we live. Unbelievable stories of wrath, inhumanity, murder, greed, and sheer evil spill across our television screens every evening – to the point that we practically become numb and immune to the horror of the stories we listen to as we calmly sip our cups of coffee.

What in the world is happening to our world when babies are killed at the hands of their fathers; when predators stalk our kids in their very neighborhoods; when husbands and wives use rather than treasure one another; and when simple, basic moral values are questioned and debated rather than lived? We are living in times like these!

But in addition to the turmoil in our world, each of us have our own issues that affect our lives each day. There are financial needs, relationship issues, loss of loved ones, broken marriages and homes, unexpected illnesses, on and on. And often it is these personal, crushing issues that are more devastating to us than any national or international crisis.

How do we live in times like these? How can we have hope when everything around us seems to be falling apart or spiraling out of control? In Psalm 62:8, David declared: Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”  But how? How do we trust? You see, I can say with my head, even with my faith, that I trust in God. But how does what I say and believe translate into confidence and peace?

First, I have to know who I’m trusting. Merriam-Webster defines trust as the “belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.” When I say I’m putting my trust in God that means I believe that He is trustworthy. I can rely on Him, depend on Him, and believe what He says. That doesn’t mean that I’m always going to understand , but it does mean that if I take Him at His Word and try to obey and follow Him faithfully, that I can believe what He says – and that is the beginning of peace in the midst of times like these.

Consider just a few of God’s promises to the believer who trusts in Him.

  • God hears us when we call. (Psalm 4:3; 1 John 5:14)
  • God will allow nothing to separate us from His love. (Romans 8:38-39)
  • God will act on our behalf. (Isaiah 64:4)
  • God knows what we need. (Matthew 6:8)
  • God supplies mercy and grace to help us in our times of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
  • God holds us up with His love and delights us with His comfort. (Psalm 94:18-19)
  • God will not forsake us when we seek Him. (Psalm 9:10)
  • God will make our paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
  • God knows our way. (Psalm 142:3)
  • God establishes our steps. (Psalm 37:23-24)
  • God is good, forgiving, and abounding in love when we call upon Him. (Psalm 86:5)
  • God satisfies and fills us. (Psalm 107:92)
  • God is always with us. (Matthew 28:19-20)
  • God will make us a light for the nations. (Isaiah 49:6)

The above are just a spattering of God’s promises to those who seek to follow Him. The longer we trust and follow Him, the more we can see His faithfulness to us even in the difficult times of our lives. It is this awareness of who God is that can bring peace and confidence even in times like these.

But, secondly there is something more that believers can do to have greater peace in troubled times. Jesus taught His disciples: “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:13-14). As long as we have life and breath, we have a purpose on this earth. We have a responsibility to shine the light of Christ to a lost world so that others can have the confidence and peace that we have. Paul summed it up pretty well to the Romans. He pretty much encouraged them to just act like Christians.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”[a] says the Lord. 20 Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”[b

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 (Romans 12:9-21)

Yes, we do live in troubled times, but we have no need to worry or fear because of the God in whom we trust. And as we continue to work and serve Him, our lives have meaning and purpose as we try to make our world a little brighter and share the hope of Christ with others. And just think – the more brightly we shine God’s love in a dark world, the easier it is for others to see, especially in times like these!

 

 

 

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