Lifelines May 31, 2020

It seems almost absurd; the repetitive “do not worry” directives in the word of God.  Jesus said it.  Paul did, too.  Worry is a natural response to unmanageable circumstances, isn’t it?  If so, then how can we possibly avoid it?  Situations nag at us, and there is nothing we can do to change them.  So, they find a nesting place in our thoughts.  Sleep becomes scarce.  Appetites either disappear or take over.  We become mental hostages, and our heavenly Father created us and our minds for greater things than that.

“Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him (Matthew 6:8).”  The instructive words about prayer the Lord gives should serve to reassure us in the hard times.  We were each individually handcrafted by God long before we exited mom and entered the visible world.  There is nothing about us that He does not know, including life’s necessities.  He is intimately acquainted with it all. 

Jesus comforted His apostles as He prepared to shoulder the sins of all mankind for all of history, “Do not let your hearts be troubled…(John 14:1).”  It appears an unrealistic statement.  The pressure on Him was enormous, and the stress knocked Him to His knees in the garden of Gethsemane.  He sought His Father.  He pleaded, and His tear-soaked pleas were heard (Hebrews 5:7).  Submission to another plan still remained uppermost in His mind.  Even then, He consoled the eleven. 

“Believe.”  Such a simple yet profound word.  It totally changes our lives.  It transcends the visible to take our minds into an eternal dimension.  Once we get our attention off of what we can see and on to that which we cannot, we are transformed.  We take different steps.  Our drummer is different.  Our marching orders come from our Creator, “…not my will but thine…”

It thrusts us into a confident trust in the eternal God and His Son.  Death is no longer the final answer.  Resurrection is.

“…believe in God, believe also in Me.”  We all believe in something.  That is not at issue, but the question is “what?”  What is our default position?  It just automatically comes without thought.  Oh, I have a big problem and I need…what or whom fills in that blank?  Where do we turn when we don’t know where to turn?  Jesus directed the thoughts of the apostles heavenward.  Indeed, we were made for greater things that this world with its worries and concerns.  Yes, much greater.

The cross reveals the brutality of sin and the love of God.  It bears witness of the tribulation that this world guarantees.  Jesus faced it and overcame it.  His footsteps will lead us to that same victory.  Indeed, this is a troublesome place.  He never pretended that it wasn’t, and we can’t either.  Covid-19 just adds one more headache to it.  Faith does not change that fact, but it does guide us victoriously through it.