Contentment today!


Do you buy into the myth that somehow all of your present struggles will disappear ‘tomorrow’?  Without being overly cynical, let me tell you that you may find solutions for today’s issues but tomorrow will have new ones for you. But, we need not give in to despair, for there is a way to live in joy and contentment.

The Israelites finally were free to leave Egypt, to start the journey for the Promised Land. It isn’t hard to imagine the songs of celebration they sang as they left the borders of the land of their slavery. The name of Moses was revered, the amazing events of previous months filling their conversations, for a few days until the reality of the situation sank in.  Now they were without homes, a people living on the march in a wilderness. It was hard.  And, then on top of the new challenges of refugee living, they saw the clouds of dust raised by Pharaoh’s chariots coming to take them back. The songs turned into complaints, fed by fear.

“As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” (Exodus 14:10-12, NIV)   In their fear, they forgot their past experiences of God’s provisions for their needs as well as the continuing reminders of His Presence, the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night that went before them.

On this Monday morning, I surely pray that your life is one of smooth paths and bliss, but if not, if you have left one set of difficulties behind only to be faced by some new challenge, learn from those ancient people of the Lord. Instead of giving in to fear, trying to find someone to blame, bitterly complaining, remember the faithfulness of God and the promise of His Presence. He has led us in the past. He will lead us in the future, even when we stand on the edge of time, ready to step into eternity.

You need not pretend that all is perfect today. Those Israelites truly were facing what appeared to be an impossible situation – Pharaoh’s army to the rear, the sea before them. But for God, they were doomed.  Minimizing our troubles is not what God asks of us.  Instead He asks us for faith, that is built on the solid foundation of His unchanging nature, His power to do the impossible. And, He is with us.

Christians do not need a pillar of cloud or fire. The Holy Spirit lives in us: God, here, now! His counsel is that we should “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10-11, NIV)

Beyond relief of our fears, when we choose to live in faith that rests on His faithfulness and His Presence, a transformation is born in us. We find contentment and joy. These are God’s gifts to us in the middle of the messes of life. Like Paul, we can say, “I know in Whom I have believed and that He is able!”

Here is the invitation of a word from the Word. Do this and your challenges will not seem so overwhelming for God, our Abba, will be near. “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4:6-7, The Message)


Fear Is A Liar

(Zach Williams sings of our assurance, enjoy.)

When he told you you’re not good enough
When he told you you’re not right
When he told you you’re not strong enough
To put up a good fight
When he told you you’re not worthy
When he told you you’re not loved
When he told you you’re not beautiful
That you’ll never be enough

 (Oh) Fear he is a liar
He will take your breath stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
‘Cause fear he is a liar

 When he told you were troubled
You’ll forever be alone
When he told you you should run away
You’ll never find a home
When he told you you were dirty
And you should be ashamed
When he told you you could be the one
That grace could never change

 Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel
Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel

 ‘Cause fear he is a liar

Jason Ingram | Jonathan Smith | Zach Williams
© Anthems of Hope (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC)
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