Weather report from heaven: Sunny and bright with an abundance of light, and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture- “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.’- Romans 12:2
Insight: As we continue our series on Understanding The Times, today let’s consider in more detail the great hope we have as Christians because of the sufficiency, strength and power of Jesus Christ and the eternal nature of God’s Kingdom. One thing I think everyone could agree on is that over the last few years we have been asked to accept a lot of change. In fact, many times it seems as if the only constant is change. So how do we respond to a world and our own personal circumstances that seem to always be in flux? Can the Bible help us learn to embrace change? I think it can. In fact, I know it can but it requires a total “renewing of our mind,” as Romans 12:2 above alludes to. This is not an easy endeavor to undertake. We all want to assume that we are in control. Of course, I am not talking about things like whether we wake up in time for work or school, whether we try our best or not in whatever we are doing, how we treat other people. Over those things, we have complete control. I am referring to the things that are happening with increasing frequency over which we have no control, like a global pandemic as only one small example, and in those such instances we must surely realize how little control we have. We must turn to the Sovereignty of Christ as the antidote for our anxiety that is produced when we perceive we have no control. The only way we can effectively accomplish this is to learn to embrace the uncertainty of this life. Otherwise, we may find ourselves living in a straight jacket of fear which will surely rob us of all joy, and that is not how God intended for us to live.
The Bible is nothing if not a volume of stories of people overcoming great uncertainty in order to accomplish great things through their total reliance on God. We can look at almost any of the Bible Heroes, from Moses to Joseph, from Joshua to David, from Rahab to Paul, from any of the Disciples and realize that their lives were filled with uncertainty and in many situations seemed utterly hopeless and helpless. But at the moment when they reached the point of total surrender of any feeling of being in control is in most cases when God showed up and did the miraculous through their faith, even as frail and fragile as it sometimes seemed. We must learn to embrace the fact we are not in control, or we will always be miserable. In his book “Anxious For Nothing,” Max Lucado says that “certainty is a cruel imposter. A person can accumulate millions of dollars only to lose it in a recession. A health fanatic can eat only nuts and veggies and still battle cancer. A hermit can avoid all human contact and still struggle with insomnia. We want certainty, but the only certainty is the lack thereof. That’s why the most stressed out people are control freaks. They fail at the quest they most pursue. The more they try to control the world, the more they realize they cannot. Life becomes a cycle of anxiety, failure; anxiety, failure; anxiety, failure. We can’t take control, because control is not ours to take. The Bible has a better idea. Rather than seeking control, relinquish it.”
Boy can I relate to this whole thought. Many times throughout my life I have tried to put a stranglehold on all possible scenarios and outcomes by believing the lie that I was in control, only to be led deeper into an anxiety filled hell hole. It is only through the “renewing of my mind,” again as mentioned in Romans 12:2, through the constant reading and meditation on scripture, do I stand any chance of surrendering all things over to God’s Sovereignty. Isaiah 26:3-4 is a good example of the promises of God that we must cling to in order to embrace the uncertainty of this life “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” There are many, many more scriptures that help us to find the peace that is so elusive when we seek it in our own strength. Learn to embrace uncertainty! It is possible when we learn to renew our mind and trust in God alone.
Prayer: Father God, help us learn to let go of our perceived control and instead learn to embrace the fact that You alone are really in control and that is a very good thing indeed. We trust in You alone. Amen!