When the news frightens you, where do you go for peace?
IT’S NEWS TO ME
SETTING OUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE
Many people fall apart when a major crisis hits, but God expects His children to be the reliable ones. He expects them to have such strong confidence in Him that they are the ones others come to for stability and peace when the wheels come off. Many of God’s children trust Him up to a point-a point where a resolution of the issue or a lessening of the chaos seems possible. Beyond that, panic sets in. All of a sudden, our so-called confidence in Him and in His sovereignty over everything is nowhere to be found. The problems seem so great that they are all we see. They seem to be bigger than us, and even bigger than the God of our minds.
This is exactly how 10 of the 12 spies felt after spending 40 days checking out the Promised Land (Numbers 13:26-33). God was so enraged by their lack of confidence in Him that he killed them all by a plague (Num. 14:37). This shows how much God hates those who deny His power and His promises. Contrast these faithless men with Paul and Silas when they were unjustly thrown into prison in Philippi (Acts 16:16-40).
Which response characterizes you most commonly when you are thrust into a crisis? Are you confident that God will come through, or fearful that He won’t? If your confidence isn’t where you would like it to be, you’re in good company. Jesus often chastised His disciples for their lack of faith (Mt. 8:26). But before you get too comfortable in your shaky confidence, remember that they didn’t have what we have-the Bible and the indwelling Holy Spirit. They didn’t have written proof of His power over everything. They didn’t have the One possessing all authority in heaven and earth residing within them. They were learning as they spent time with Jesus. We have been given everything we will ever need, not only to trust Him, but to allow Him to be everything He has ever been as He lives His life through us.
Let’s return to your usual response to life’s ups and downs. When all is well, and no storms are raging around you, you may feel like you’ve got everything handled and under control. That’s what usually happens to most of us. We think we don’t need Jesus just now. We’re good. This is a sure sign that we haven’t even begun the process of surrender. We haven’t yet learned how powerless we are without Jesus (John 15:5). The sad truth is that if we aren’t trusting Him in the good times, we’ll never trust Him when the storms come.
On the other hand, if we have learned to depend on Him for everything, to regularly worship and praise Him when things are running smoothly, we will find that our confidence in the storm is as natural as breathing. God expects His children to believe in Romans 8:28-29 to the degree that we see His sovereignty in everything that happens to us, down to the smallest detail.
You may argue that God has let you down in the past. Perhaps some childhood accident has left a mark (physical and/or emotional) on you. You blame Him for allowing this to happen to you. You may even resent Him for not protecting you (as if it’s His job to keep you from all pain and unpleasantness). How about focusing on how God has brought you through life in spite of the accident-how God has used it to bring glory to Himself and meaning to your life?
Joni Erickson Tada had questioned God’s love and protection after a diving accident left her as a quadriplegic. Now she’s literally singing a different tune. Through the accident, she has learned to rest in God and His goodness. God is reaching far more people through her disability than He could have if she hadn’t gone swimming that day. She knows that one day, she will be given a new body. She will run, skip, and dance again, for all eternity. But for now, she endures her challenges knowing that God is with her, and has given her peace beyond comprehension.
Where is your confidence? Do you know your Lord well enough to trust Him with every part of your life? He’s asking you to surrender it all. He knows how He wants to use you for His glory, to advance His kingdom, and to give you His peace and rest. You can trust Him. Will you?
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