Thursday, February 19, 2009

Some needed encouragement

From Jesus to the disciples after He rebuked the wind:

"Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" Mark 4:40

I desperately need to ask myself that practically everyday. I read my email, read a blog and I'm in a state of near panic. I have to make myself trust God with all the things going on in the world today.

I wrote the following a couple days ago:
I have been allowing myself to occasionally obsess with the state of our country (it's not good and getting worse, and please don't tell me it's better than anywhere else, maybe so, but this is our reality.). Anyway, most of my prayers concerning this go up as groanings. So today I was praying and God convicted me of my worry. What am I really concerned about? The bottom line is that I don't want to give up my personal comfort. When I read stories about Monsanto, the FDA as well as the state departments of agriculure wanting to take control of all our food sources I get panicky. When I read that the stimulus package includes discriminatory practices against religion and will control who gets medical care (under Medicaid and Medicare) I get angry. When I read that the Consumer Produst Safety Improvement Act pretty much bans all children's items including books printed before 1985, clothes, toys, pens, etc., etc. I get even angrier. When I call and email my senators to no avail I wonder if they really care about what I think. Have I put too much trust in our government? I didn't think so, but now I'm not so sure. More likely I've put too much faith in the flesh.
Dh reminded me in a conversation we had about someone else that we have a big God. Of course, I believe that, but...even God allows persecution and death of his people.
1 Peter 5:8-10 (New King James Version) 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
Matthew 6:25-34 (New King James Version) 25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

So I need your prayers to overcome my fear and worry. While you're praying, pray for our country, our leaders, our churches, our families to follow God's way in everything.


Mom said...

We do have a big challenge to balance our trust in god with what He may want us to do to fight Satan.

Christine said...

I remember something that the pastor teaching our Revelation class used to say - "We know nothing of persecution here in the United States. It's going to get bad here, just wait."

I know, it's not uplifting. But, I have my faith firmly planted in the sovereignty of God. If I did not, I would absolutely despair.

cheri said...

Sometimese I take a break from the news. A news 'fast'. And use that time to feast on God's Word to remind me of how He has helped believers in the past. Persecution happens yes, hard times also but, He will help us be faithful to the end.

Anonymous said...

I too just have to stay away from the news. My response always is--can people really be so irresponsible/thoughtless/ignorant/hateful...given that the answer seems to be yes more often than not, I have to choose to not lose my head over it all. I don't like a lot of things happening, but the Lord is in control of it...I have to rest in this or face being beat down by the troubles of this life just like the weeds on the path.

ethan said...

Fear, despair and dread are so tempting. It is sooooo wonderful to serve God Who *is* in control. Even if we suffer horribly here, God will be victorious. (Now just tell me to say it again - and then again...)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your heart on this issue. I totally agree that we need to take our fear and worry to GOD. I've not read very much on all that's going on, simply because I know it give cause for temptation to worry and fret. I've heard and read enough to know it's not good. I don't think it's going to do me any good to try to predict how soon something else is going to happen. I choose to let that with God. Yes, I know ignorance isn't always bliss. But in this case, ignorance is perhaps more peaceful!