Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fear and Trust?

If you watch the news on any given day, there appears to be a lot to be fearful about. I just heard that the jobless claims are at a 26 year high. When people lose their jobs, they understandably become fearful.

The question becomes, how can a person deal with anxiety? If we are honest, we all have experienced it at one time or another.

Max Lucado shares an idea in "Traveling Light":

You might try what one fellow did. He worried so much that he decided to hire someone to do his worrying for him. He found a man who agreed to be his hired worrier for a salary of $200,000 per year. After the man accepted the job, his first question to his boss was, "Where are you going to get $200,000 per year?" to which the man responded, "That's your worry."


Ha ha...wouldn't THAT be a dream come true! Pay someone to worry for you. Of course, "worry" is not something we can pay someone to do for us; however, you can overcome it. The shepherd's psalm informs us how:

"He leads me beside the still waters," David declares. And, in case we missed the point, he repeats the phrase in the next verse: "He leads me in the paths of righteousness."


Pssst! That's the secret...people.

Today, I woke up feeling far less anxious than I have been ever since the election. I was thinking that perhaps Obama won't end up being sworn in as POTUS because he might be involved in the Illinois governor scandal. However, after reading a post via Digg regarding how many of the articles are being scrubbed from the Internet that state that Obama met with Blago when Obama claimed he never did... I started thinking that NOTHING will prevent this guy from being our next president! No scandal is big enough to catch this "Teflon man." Well, read on to discover what allowed me to not worry so much about it anymore, and just "trust and do" as the Spurgeon devotional shares (below).

One more political detail.

Congress has passed a billions-of-dollars "bailout" bill, but the treasury secretary has not been under scrutiny to see that it is spent wisely. People that money IS OUR MONEY! TAXPAYERS MONEY! IS THIS RIGHT? IS THIS THE AMERICAN WAY? It certainly isn't the Democratic-REPUBLIC way!

The best idea that I have heard so far is from Republican Rep. Gohmert, who has suggested a two month "tax holiday" for every tax payer. Think about what people could do with some extra money! They can catch up on their mortgage payments. They can spend it for a new car. They can use it for medical coverage, college tuition, clothes, food etc. We could all give more to charities! I think Gohmert's idea would be a true boon for our struggling economy.

Granted, I am no economist but during Rep. Gohmert's interview with Bill Hemmer on Fox News this morning, he shared that giving the tax holiday to individual taxpayers would only cost one sixth of what the government usually takes in from the taxpayer payrolls. I think that the Federal Government needs to go on a budget for two months! They keep screaming for us taxpayers to do that!

Well, this post wasn't really going to be about all of that. I just wanted to share it before I get to the genuine point of this essay.

What I really wanted to share is another one of Spurgeon's gems entitled, "Trust and Do; Do and Trust." I think that this is what our Lord would want us to be doing any time crisis comes. Of course, it is easier said than done. However, when we trust in the Lord - during good times and bad times - the end result is often good.

In Max Lucado's "Traveling Light" book, chapter six discusses The Burden of Worry.

If you have missed any of my previous posts that include chapters of Lucado's book, you can click on them here:

I Will Fear No Evil

Hebrews urges us to do. "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb. 12:1-2 NKJV).

The writer of Hebrews was not a golfer, but he could have been a jogger, for he speaks of a runner and a forerunner. The forerunner is Jesus, the "author and finisher of our faith." He is the author - that is to say he wrote the book on salvation. And he is the finisher - he not only charted the map, he blazed the trail. He is the forerunner, and we are the runners. And we runners are urged to keep our eyes on Jesus.

[Note: Lucado describes his running experiences.]

[T]hings hurt. And as things hurt, I've learned that I have three options. Go home. Meditate on my hurts until I start imagining I'm having chest pains. Or I can keep running and watch the sun come up. My trail has just enough easterly bend to give me a front-row seat for God's morning miracle. If I watch God's world go from dark to golden, guess what? The same happens to my attitude. The pain passes and the joints loosen, and before I know it, the run is half over and life ain't half bad. Everything improves as I fix my eyes on the sun.

[Note from Christine: I have found that everything improves as I fix my eyes on the Son!]

Wasn't that the counsel of the Hebrew epistle - "looking unto Jesus"? What was the focus of David? "You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."



Cumbersome Sack of Discontent

All that stuff - it's not yours. And you know what else about all that stuff? It's not you. Who you are has nothing to do with the clothes you wear or the car you drive. Jesus said, "Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot" (Luke 12:15 MSG). Heaven does not know you as the fellow with the nice suit or the woman with the big house or the kid with the new bike. Heaven knows your heart. "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Sam. 16:7 NIV).

When God thinks of you, he may see your compassion, your devotion, your tenderness or quick mind, but he doesn't think of your things.

And when you think of you, you shouldn't either. Define yourself by your stuff, and you'll feel good when you have a lot and bad when you don't. Contentment comes when we can honestly say with Paul: "I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have....I know how to live when I am poor, and I know how to live when I have plenty" (Phil. 4:11-12).


He Restores Our Hope

It's a jungle out there.

And for some, even for many, hope is in short supply. Hopelessness is an odd bag. Unlike the others, it isn't full. It is empty, and its emptiness creates the burden. Unzip the top and examine all the pockets. Turn it upside down and shake it hard. The bag of hopelessness is painfully empty.

Not a very pretty picture, is it? Let's see if we can brighten it up. We've imagined the emotions of being lost; you think we can do the same with being rescued? What would it take to restore your hope? What would you need to re energize your journey?

Though the answers are abundant, three come quickly to mind.

The first would be a person. Not just any person. You don't need someone equally confused. You need someone who knows the way out.

And from him you need some vision. You need someone to lift your spirits. You need someone to look you in the face and say, "This isn't the end. Don't give up. There is a better place than this. And I'll lead you there."

And, perhaps most important, you need direction. If you have only a person but no renewed vision, all you have is company. If he has a vision but no direction, you have a dreamer for company. But if you have a person with direction --who can take you from this place to the right place--ah, then you have one who can restore your hope.

Or, to use David's words, "He restores my soul."

Our Shepherd majors in restoring hope to the soul. Whether you are a lamb lost on a craggy ledge or a city slicker alone in a deep jungle, everything changes when your rescuer appears.


So, what would God have us do in such circumstances as this? I think that C.H. Spurgeon provides a good answer:

Faith's Checkbook by C.H. Spurgeon
Thursday December 11, 2008
http://bible.christiansunite.com/devotionals.shtml


Trust and Do; Do and Trust

Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. (Psalm 37:3)

Trust and do are words which go well together, in the order in which the Holy Spirit has placed them. We should have faith, and that faith should work. Trust in God sets us upon holy doing: we trust God for good, and then we do good. We do not sit still because we trust, but we arouse ourselves and expect the Lord to work through us and by us. It is not ours to worry and do evil but to trust and do good. We neither trust without doing nor do without trusting.

Adversaries would root us out if they could; but by trusting and doing we dwell in the land. We will not go into Egypt, but we will remain in Immanuel's land - the providence of God, the Canaan of covenant love. We are not so easily to be got rid of as the Lord's enemies suppose. They cannot thrust us out nor stamp us out: where God has given us a name and a place, there we abide.

But what about the supply of our necessities? The Lord has put a "verily" into this promise. As sure as God is true, His people shall be fed. It is theirs to trust and to do, and it is the Lord's to do according to their trust. If not fed by ravens, or fed by an Obadiah, or fed by a widow, yet they shall be fed somehow. Away, ye fears!


Lucado:

The triumph of Christ is not temporary. "Triumphant in Christ" is not an event or an occasion. It's not fleeting. To be triumphant in Christ is a lifestyle...a state of being! To triumph in Christ is not something we do, it's something we are.


Christ is the true Hope that we have in this brief life here on earth. Nothing else truly matters as much as salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord!

At the cross, Jesus said, "It is finished." Jesus did the work that God the Father sent him to do on this earth. He became the bridge of redemption between sinful man and holy God. All who confess of their sin, repent (means willingly turn away) of their sin, believe that Jesus died on the cross for their sin, and ask him into their hearts to live and reign within them through the power of the Holy Spirit, are His forever! There is nothing in this world that could ever be more triumphant than that! Nothing!

Lucado:


Here is the big difference between victory in Christ and victory in the world: A victor in the world rejoices over something he did --swimming the English Channel, climbing Everest, making a million. But the believer rejoices over who he is -- a child of God, a forgiven sinner, an heir of eternity. As the hymn goes, "Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of his Spirit, washed in his blood."

Nothing can separate us from our triumph in Christ. Nothing! Our triumph is based not upon our feelings but upon God's gift. Our triumph is based no upon our perfection but upon God's forgiveness. How precious is this triumph! For even though we are pressed on every side, the victory is still ours. Nothing can alter the loyalty of God.



Such triumph in Jesus Christ cannot be overcome by decisions and/or evil done in the world. Jesus told us:

Jhn 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Jesus warned us that we would have tribulation in this world. But despite such tribulation, we can be of good cheer because He has overcome the world!

I love God's Word! It is such an honest book! When one is born again in Christ, we receive the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Notice that within all of the good fruit, there is still one called "longsuffering."

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,


Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.


Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.


Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit
.


Outline of Biblical Usage for the term "longsuffering":

1) patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance

2) patience, forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs

Greek: makrothumia

One day, at the proper time, Jesus will come back to avenge the wrongs in this world. He will judge the living and the dead.

I titled this post, "Fear and Trust." The kind of "fear" that born-again Christians have is reverence - reverence for God and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Fearfulness is replaced with reverence for God because our faith and trust in Him is graciously, mercifully, and lovingly supplanted by the fact that He is always with us. He indwells our hearts and guides us towards choosing to follow the Holy Spirit's lead and do His will in our lives. And, no matter what happens here on this earth - when we die (at whatever age, place, event, or time that is) - we have the promise of being forever with the Lord.

Jhn 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Jhn 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.


Jesus keeps his promises!



Mat 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:


Mat 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:


Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

3 comments:

rebecca said...

I am certain that this economic "crisis" was put in place by obama and his wall street big boys to help him out with the sham election. they and soros and acorn put him over the top, with a crooked blagovich-media spreading lies about Bush and Palin and turning AMERICANS into EUROPEAN style sheeple.

I am afraid that AMERICA will turn into the FRANCE of the 21st century and that NOBAMA will turn into the HITLER of the 21st century! Instead of Jews it will be all us "typical white people" and Christians and unborn children being shoved into the ovens! Because we are bitter and cling to our religion instead of worship HIM, the great black hype out of crooked CHICAGO politricks!

Good thing the LORD is in charge and will bless his flock. I think true Christians have little to worry from this economics. Only the shysters on WALL STREET and the crook crackheads who tried to swindle the mortgage companies need to worry! Did you know about Community Reinvestement ACts? Jimmy Carter is the real menace behind this terrible year! Yes, Carter and his crooked one-world ideology will be the real force behind NOBAMA the empty-shell/fraud/race-hustler!

Susan Smith said...

Christine said: “He is always with us.”

Then Christine said: “Jesus keeps his promises!”

Amen sister! Hope you are having a great holiday season Christine. Much love to you and your family. Shabbat Shalom. (ss)

Christinewjc said...

Hi Susan,

We got our tree and decorations up over a week ago (early for us...heh heh) and the guys put the lights up out in front of our home yesterday afternoon. Looks beautiful.

I love seeing all the Christmas lights as I drive by the homes on our block at night. It is a beautiful reminder for us that Jesus is the light of the world!

God bless!
Christine