I will not live in the coward’s refuge

Here we are … waiting.  Who will be our President? In my mind a much more important issue is the recovery of a national unity, in what seems to be our ‘two Americas.’  The divide shows up everywhere, even in our churches. I am heart-broken over the disdain for the ‘other side’ that is tearing friends and families apart. Yes, I write often about finding peace and I confess it is a struggle, but it is the birthright of the Believer, therefore I will wait in hope, live purposefully in joy, choosing love. How about you? Christian, we have a BIG job yet to do!

If we want to experience the peace of God we must be willing to become content; not apathetic, but secure in our Father’s grace, satisfied by His love. Are you willing to actually ‘live’ in the moment, to accept this day from His hand, to desire to be exactly the person He desires; no more, no less? 

Jesus counsels us about allowing ourselves to be anxious. “I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? … Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. … For the pagans (those who don’t know God) run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” (Matthew 6:25, 27, 32, NIV)  His wisdom is to enjoy the things you have right now and to make the most of this day.

Let’s not retreat into apathy. That’s the coward’s refuge!  We cannot just stop caring, for God has given us the calling to work to bring about His purposes in this world; loving the loveless, feeding the hungry, advocating for the powerless, pointing others to Christ.  That agenda sets us against the tide, invites the opposition from this world as well as the spiritual one. However, we are not engaged in this work with our natural abilities. If I attempt to do life as a Christian, in my own strengths, trying to control life with my own strategies, I will become stressed, angry, and frustrated.

Paul, a Spirit-filled man, went through life’s up’s and down’s. He was hero and he was heel. Some loved him, others drove him out of town like a criminal. Sometimes he was respected by the Christians he taught and sometimes they ignored him preferring smooth talkers that fed their ego! He felt joy and pain equally. Yet, he never wavered from his commitment to Christ he loved because his true contentment was not circumstantial, but fixed on a Person greater than this world. He would not take solace in the coward’s refuge.

The secret of his consistent service, of his ability to keep going in the face of hardship is found in these words. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need. … And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Now glory be to God our Father forever and ever. Amen.” (Philippians 4, NLT)

We have a choice in the middle of our current mess – we can live miserably, overwhelmed, blaming, and complaining-  OR we can take the grace of Christ and live with contentment. Which will you choose today?

God is good, all the time, dear friend.
He is equally Lord of life when things are good and when things go wrong. 
He is Lord while we wait and when we act.  

Here’s a word from the Word for this day. “Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” (Lamentations 3:21-24, NLT)  “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6, KJV)


God Is Good All The Time

(turn up the sound and rejoice with Don Moen)

God is good, all the time.
He put a song of praise
In this heart of mine!
God is good, all the time,
Through the darkest night
His light will shine.
God is good! God is good,
All the time!

If you’re walkin’ through the valley
And there are shadows all around;
Do not fear, He will guide you,
He will keep you safe and sound.
‘Cause He has promised to never leave you,
Nor forsake you, and His Word is true.

Though I may not understand,
All the plans You have for me,
My life is in Your hands
And through the eyes of faith-
I can clearly see-
God is good, He’s so good,
God is good, He’s so good,
God is good,
He’s so good all the time!

Don Moen | Paul Overstreet © 1995 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (IMI)) Scarlet Moon Music, Inc. (Admin. by Kobalt Music Publishing America, Inc.)

CCLI License # 810055

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