We left off talking about action; doing something. I think it is safe to say we are all ready to do something! I’m watching the long-range forecast of higher temps and no precipitation and I feel the cabin fever starting to melt away. How about you? Are we looking ahead for better days or are we stuck in our unbelief? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The verse that we have referred to many times over the last few weeks also helps us as we look ahead and make preparations for the new season;
Hebrews 11:1; Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being sure of what we do not see.
I know we can all be a little gun shy when we look back over the last year, life changed quite a bit. The things we were sure of all of a sudden disappeared. For many of us our world view has been challenged and redefined. The question remains, how do we move forward?
For many of us springtime is a time for planning. Looking forward to the warmer months and deciding what and where we want to go. This year however presents a different challenge. There is a nagging doubt. What if?
Try to think of it like we do the weather; we don’t have control over what the weather is, but we plan and prepare as if things are going to go as we want them to. We don’t wait until we are sure things will happen, it will be too late to get ready. As we look ahead to this season it will be different, a work in progress, but I believe it will happen. I have hope.
But how do we get past our unbelief and find hope in the future? We do it by turning to God. We turn to him because He is the only one who knows what tomorrow brings. We can look to the signs and circumstances but they sometimes are false indicators of what the future holds.
As we move into our preparation time for the upcoming Easter Holiday the question is, what if God does something that we have never seen before? What if He shows us something new? What if he breathes life back into something that was dead? Would you believe it?
John 12:44-46; Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.
How well do you know your house? Well enough to find your way in the dark? I didn’t think so. We all try, we think we remember where things are. Then there is that one thing we forgot and bam, we stumble and fall. Funny thing is we still don’t turn on the light. We will attempt to feel our way through the dark over and over again. Jesus says, turn on the light!
Now the challenge for us is, do we believe Jesus knows the way, can he guide my path? We struggle to give control over to him. We do not want to submit to His authority. We think that doing so requires that we give up the things we “enjoy”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those thoughts are given birth in unbelief. They have their root in our prideful desire to decide for ourselves which way is right.
Proverbs 14:12; There is a way that appears to be right (to us), but in the end it leads to death.
One thing this past year has brought into clarity is what is truly important, what we cannot live without. I’m not saying it was easy and I’m not saying we didn’t struggle with what our time of isolation revealed in us. I am saying that we were put into circumstances that challenged each of us to determine what is truly valuable to us and life itself. My conclusion is that we see things differently, priorities have changed, moving forward we have a new perspective. My prayer is that our unbelief is overcome by faith, our fear is replaced by faith. Not in our abilities or our control, but in the one who has absolute authority and control, Jesus.
John 12:47-50; (Jesus continued) I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”
Jesus helps us understand that he is in the saving business, not the condemning business. We are made to believe that God is mad at us and punishing us for the things we do that do not honor him. That is not true. Jesus said that time will come, but right now we need to get you off the merry go round and get you moving is a direction that leads to life, eternal life.
Don’t misunderstand, there are consequences for each decision we make. Those consequences can be very uncomfortable and challenging if our decisions are based on serving ourselves. We made those decisions that led us into those circumstances, don’t blame God. Someone once asked, “What’s He saving for?” He is saving us from ourselves.
Jesus reveals his plan and offers it to us;
John 10:10; 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
The choice remains ours; We can stumble around in the dark or we can walk in the light. I think we should look ahead with the hope that God can and will save us from ourselves. That faith in him is what we need to overcome our fear. Let us commit to follow the light along the path that leads to a rich and satisfying life, a life that demonstrates faith in Christ.