Word for Word 5/20/20

Trusting God -  Finding Peace

Today I want to address the waves of fear, panic, anxiety and uncertainty the COVID-19 has brought to multitudes. I’m sure I’m speaking to some of you right now who are struggling.  THERE IS hope and help in Jesus Christ who is the Prince of Peace and the Lord of the storm.  Let’s look together at a story in Luke chapter 8:22-25 which is very applicable today as the whole world finds itself caught in the chaotic storm of pestilence. “Now it happened on a certain day that Jesus got into a boat with His disciples.  And He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.’ And they launched out. But as they sailed, He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy.  And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’  Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water.  And they ceased and there was a calm.  But Jesus said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’  And they were afraid and marveled, saying to one another, Who can this be?  For He commands even the winds and water and they obey Him.”

If we take to heart the lessons in this story, the Good News is that through this Corona virus, or any other circumstance in which we may find ourselves, we can have peace and hope that is grounded in reality. In this unexpected trial, Jesus and the disciples quickly found themselves in a very dangerous situation. But, Jesus was peacefully sleeping. Why?  Because He confidently knew that He was His Father’s beloved Son and that, at all times, He was in His Father’s loving care. Therefore, He did not need to fear anything. Nothing shook or alarmed Jesus. He knew His Father’s favor and authority was upon Him. In every situation He did what He needed to do to take care of the immediate need. It didn’t matter what the need was, for as He prayed and spoke, His Father backed Him up by hearing His prayer and answering.

Jesus marveled, it says in our passage, at the lack of faith of the disciples. Jesus couldn’t believe how afraid they were. Yes, the situation was dangerous, but the Son of God was with them! Jesus demonstrated His power and ability to deliver them out of their situation. We too can hang onto Jesus as our anchor of stability to see us through any trial or turbulent storm.

Jesus is the only place you will find true, deep, abiding peace and stability in these difficult times and in life in general.  There are things (that you desperately need) the Lord wants to give to you that He can’t, because you don’t follow His instructions and you  haven’t positioned yourself to receive.  Jesus wants to give us so much, but we must do our part.  We must make our spiritual life priority, consistent and practical. If we don’t do this, we will be on our own!

How does a person tap into what God has for them and cultivate this peace, strength and hope? God wants you to start a relationship journey with Him. Like all relationships, it starts with trust.  Rev 3:20 Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with Me.”  God is knocking at the door of your heart, your life. By trust and faith, you open the door and let Him in and you begin a relationship. Like Jesus, you must believe and trust that God loves you and cares for you. God is for you, looking beyond your past and what you’ve done; He is not against you. His plans for you are actually good! God’s heart and His intentions toward you are kind. He doesn’t condemn you; He wants to rescue you.

Good relationships result from time spent together.  The Bible says to draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  If you take a step toward Him, He will meet you where you’re at. You must make a decision to turn off the TV and the news and discipline yourself to daily spend time in God’s word, prayer, listening to worhip music that touches your heart and meditating on God’s promises and His faithfulness to you. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. The more you come to know God and His ways, the more you will trust Him, and peace is a by-product of that trust. As you do this consistently, you’re building a  foundation in your life that cannot be shaken.  I’m ending today with Is 26:3, a most precious promise - “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You.” Start making Jesus and His Word your focus, and as you trust Him, He will give you His peace and stability. Shalom.
 
Pastor Steve Oden
New Life Christian Church
Waukon

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