Weather Report From Heaven: Sunny and bright, with an abundance of light and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture – “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”- Philippians 4:13
Insight: Look up and give thanks! God is a gracious God and He has given us so many blessings, but we need to take time to praise Him, seek Him, and turn to Him during these perilous times. Not everyday right now is a good day, in fact the days are quite difficult for most people right now with all the tribulations coming from the fallout of Covid-19 and the severe social challenges we are living in. But in each day, no matter how tough our day is, we can find something to still be grateful for. If you have breath in your lungs, praise Him! If you can praise Him when things are hard, in the Valleys of life, then He will know that your faith is real and genuine. It’s easy to praise God when things are going good, but true faith praises God in the midst of the storms of life, in the chaos of the valley of a global pandemic. Here is a simple truth that I have come to learn: The solution to what ails you is found in God. How many times do you stop during your day and simply thank God for something as basic as clothes to wear or food to eat?
Our identity is strongest when we are finding our identity in God through Christ Jesus. That is the most secure place we can be, irrespective of our external circumstances. Jesus is the Solid Rock on which we can stand when the storms of life are all around us, like for most people they are right now. But in our pride, we often try to find our identity and security in anything other than God. In fact I, like most people, will go to great lengths to try and find my identity in what people think about me, or say about or feel about me. Why do you think all the social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. are so popular? We are all searching for our identity in all the wrong places, hoping by comparison our lives won’t seem so broken, but comparison is a deadly game that always leaves you feeling empty inside. Instead of looking outwards for approval, we should be looking upwards. But even worse, many times I look inwards, thinking that I have the answers or the capabilities within me to traverse life’s rocky paths and unexpected storms. Again, I am hardly alone. Just go to any book store and see the shelves packed with all the self-help books you can use to get it all together, turn over a new leaf, live out your dream on earth. All good ideas except I have found they rarely last. Why? Because we are again looking in all the wrong places in search of the elixir that can truly sustain us and bring us the joy and contentment we desire. In this case we are looking in, instead of up.
But up is where the answers we seek lie. God loves us so much He did provide us an answer to all of our dreams in His Son Jesus. He alone can provide the contentment, the joy, the fulfillment we are seeking. The Apostle Paul found this to be true despite some terrible circumstances. He often was on death’s doorstep, many times due to horrific injustices and calamities, yet he could still sing God’s praises due to His ability to always look up. He says in Philippians 4:11-13 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” The same can be true for us. Instead of looking out or looking in, we need to always look up. God is available to us thanks to His Son’s resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Our identity is sitting there at the right side of God’s throne. We need nothing else!