I have been waking up despondent, feeling hopeless, easily depressed by the constant negativity about what is going on in our world at the moment. In a recent quiet time I called out to the Lord, "Lord, what do I respond to these naysayers? How do I respond to the constant focus of those around me on how everything is driven by the 'One World Order'? How do I remind them that even if that is so, You are in control regardless? How do I retain my joy in these dark times?"
Well, firstly, a reality check. Right now, for me, my life is not bad at all. I am blessed. I am truly grateful for everything I have and hope that I never take any of it for granted. Today, I have food on the table, a family who loves me, good clothes, etc. I am reminded of Matt 6 vs 34 that says, "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Today everything in my life is good and I have everything I need. My family is good and healthy and God has provided for all our needs and more, today. Today, with God's help, I will overcome every challenge. Thus, whatever tomorrow holds, He will walk with me too, regardless of what tomorrow holds. So, today, my joy CAN be full.
So what about fear? Fear of the future? Fear of the virus rigmarole? Fear of vaccines? Fear of leadership forsaking the people for their own pockets? Fear of losing everything? Fear of having no work? What about these fears that try daily to steal my joy and peace? The Lord then brings to remembrance this scripture: 2 Tim 1 vs 7: for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. The Lord did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control in Him.
When you read that verse in context Paul is encouraging the people that they are suffering as Christ did, and as he currently is and that God did not give them a spirit of fear. They can stand strong and firm and take everything that comes their way because He is in control. He is encouraging them not to be ashamed of the gospel even if it means trials, tribulations, imprisonment and even death.
This life we live is just a fraction of eternity. We as Christians are just passing through. We long for and desire to be in heaven with Jesus and He has promised He has made a place for us.
I end this post with the beautiful Psalm of David, written about the time when David was fleeing Absalom, his son:
Psalm 3 vs 1 - 8: (1) O Lord, how many are my foes! (2) Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah (3) But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. (4) I cried aloud to the Lord, and He answered me from His holy hill. Selah (5) I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. (6) I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. (7) Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For You strike all my enemies on the cheek; You break the teeth of the wicked. (8) Salvation belongs to the Lord; Your blessing be on Your people! Selah