So many of us are disoriented, shaken, and afraid these days. The pandemic statistics reported to us keep on rising, along with apocalyptic opinions about what’s next. Conspiracy theories, most unfounded, sprout like dandelions on our social media accounts. Having witnessed the self-serving actions of so many of those who are supposed to be ‘leaders,’ we are no longer able to trust our government. Anyone with the temerity to raise a dissenting voice invites scorn or, in some cases, is silenced. In my lifetime, I do not remember a more fearful time in the world or a season in which basic values appeared to shift so rapidly. How are you coping, friend?
If you are not dealing with the change in your world well, there is no need to condemn yourself as weak. One of the most important resources for dealing with fear is community, being together with friends, family, and church. But the fear of spreading the contagion keeps us from sitting down to dinner with extended family. The ripped and torn social fabric, our awful national disunity, does not allow for conversations that could help us find our way. We are not going to church, or when we do, we may find only bland platitudes and/or superficial relationships that cannot address our true concerns.
What then can we do to find peace? Is our only response to adopt a brave exterior that masks our inner fears?
There is another Way!
The Proverb says “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10, NIV) Sounds good, but what does it mean?
In Christ, you and I are the people of the Lord. His Name is written on us. Our identity is drawn from who He has declared us to be. Nearly every week in our worship at Faith Discovery Church, after we conclude the proclamation of the Apostle’s Creed, I say … “I am …” I hear the response … “A Christian!”
Today, even if yours is just a faint flicker of faith, choose to rest in Christ Jesus. He does not change, His promises are not ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’ The Truth about our salvation is not subject to vote, veto, or cancel culture! We are secure in His grasp. None of these things – death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, (nothing) in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord because “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37, NIV) Speak the word of faith and remember that it is Christ who saves. We cannot secure ourselves. He has written His Name on us, declaring us His own possession purchased at great price. Trust that truth.
This is the word from the Word. Note the gifts provided those who trust in the Lord. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” (2 Timothy 1:7-9, NIV)
Power – the ability to overcome.
Love – the ability to remain relational, not isolated.
Self-discipline – the ability to rule turbulent emotions.
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10, NIV
(take a few moments to worship along with Austin Stone as they sing this great hymn!)
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name
When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In ev’ry high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand
His oath His covenant His blood
Support me in the ‘whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay
When He shall come with trumpet sound
O may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before the throne
Edward Mote | William Batchelder Bradbury © Words: Public Domain