Archive for January, 2021



Have you ever felt overwhelmed with something in your life?

We are continually faced with news reports of war in the Middle East, world-wide terrorism, and the growing threat of militant Islam, and now, even terror striking daily in many cities of the USA. Recently, I read of a threat to America from a zealot saying that it was too late to defend ourselves against the various threats; they were already too big and continuing to grow.

But you know, the truth is that we are going about this all wrong!

Oh, but before I go further … then we have movies and books telling us that Christians are all about to escape these life events. That’s really scary because such teaching provides a false hope of escapism.

Now, I DO believe that Jesus IS COMING SOON to meet His bride

BUT…

There are people groups around the world RIGHT NOW facing horrors that many of us cannot even imagine.

Tell the Christians in Syria that they are going to escape the threat and reality of being murdered for their faith.

Tell the families of victims of COVID-19 in the USA and around the world that they are going to escape sickness, pain, and death.

So many of us are looking for an escape …

… and missing the reality of the NOW hope of and in Jesus Christ.

  • He is with us when we are overwhelmed.
  • He is with us when terror strikes.
  • He is with us when sickness attaches to our bodies.
  • He is with us when fear sets in to our daily existence.
  • He is with us when death enters of familial homes.
  • He is with us regardless of the circumstance and His Word tells us that He never leaves us or forsakes us (Matthew 28:20b).

Again, Jesus IS coming to meet His bride BUT, it is a false hope for us to believe that we, as Americans, are somehow going to escape all this when Christians across the earth are facing a NOW reality of these things.

So, here is my plea:

1) Let’s put a renewed trust in Christ. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take” (NLT).

2) Let’s pray with a fervency greater than we have ever known. James 5:16 reminds us that God DOES hear the pleas of His people- “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” (NLT). That means that if we will really mean business with God, He means business with us. He hears us. He answers us.

Go ahead, be willing to lose sleep while you’re praying.

Go ahead, be willing to weep some tears while you’re praying.

But also go ahead, and be willing to see God move while you’re praying.

3) Let’s do our part in the trust process. Solomon had just finished the construction of the Temple and God appeared to him in the night with certain words. (2 Chronicles 7:11-22). Among these words, God set forth some conditional statements. He told Solomon that there would be times of disaster and horror in the earth. And then He introduced a VERY IMPORTANT word, “Then”.

“Then” means “at that time” or “in that given event.” In other words, God was telling Solomon that difficult times would still be ahead … but that WAS NOT time to turn FROM God; instead, it was time to turn to Him as never before. 2 Chronicles 7:14 records, “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land” (NLT).

            So, God sets this in front of His chosen people who are called by His Name:

  1. They are to humble themselves. This means that they are to recognize WHO God is and in turn, they are to recognize who they are. They are, in fact, nothing without Him.
  2. They are to pray. Not only are they to speak with God BUT they are to listen to God, and they are to be willing to respond accordingly to what He tells them.
  3. They are to seek God’s face. Remember, this was written to the people who had heard the following blessing often:

‘May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace’ (Numbers 6:24-26 NLT).

They equated the Face of God with the favor and grace of God. In other words, they were to seek His face or His favor in their lives, in their people, and in their land.

  • They are to repent. They are to turn from their wicked ways. And in this sense, wickedness is further stretched to mean ALL thoughts, words, and actions that are displeasing to God. They are to change their ways of thinking AND their corresponding actions.
  • In turn, God will heal their land.

Many would tell us that this is Old Testament and therefore, no longer applicable to God’s people. But Jesus NEVER disavowed the Old Testament; in fact, He told us that He came to fulfill or complete the Law. And His continual quoting and referencing of the Old Covenant clearly indicates His approval of what was written therein.

So, when we are overwhelmed, when we are threatened, when we are fearful … it is not time to look for the big escape. It is not time to put our trust in the doctors or in the politicians, or the military (although we ARE thankful for both the medical profession, our leaders, AND the military profession.) Instead, it is time to put our trust in Him.

Will you join me in taking this endeavor to task … to humbling ourselves and recognizing His magnitude and simultaneously, our smallness … to praying to Him with a preparedness to listen to and to obey … to seeking His face, grace, and favor … and to repenting of ALL of our sins, wrong-doings, wasted words, and uncontrolled thoughts.

We live in a world of uncertainty … and we DO look forward to being with Jesus … but let’s not wait until that time of His returning to do something.

Let’s not get caught up so much in watching for His return that we forget to maintain a close relationship today.

Let’s do something NOW!

Let’s stay prepared NOW!

Hope in the future is always a NOW hope—a patient expectancy.

Let’s trust HIM!

Let’s put our hope in Him … Now!


Have you ever had a moment when the eventualities of life cause you more stress than they should?

Of course, there is a certain amount of stress that we face that is good for us, but it is often that stresses build up, situations get out of hand, and the body is taxed beyond its normal limits.

What do you do when the stresses of life go beyond your physical and emotional capacities?

Do you let them get you down?

Do you let them cause you physical damage?

Do you let them build up until they emerge an emotional outbursts?

As I said earlier, there are normal amounts of stress that each of us faces on a daily basis and which are actually good for us. These may include deadlines to be met, presentations to be prepared and delivered, and meetings to be attended and managed.

But there are other stresses that can be harmful if improperly or inadequately dealt with. These may include emergencies, accidents, and forgotten preparations.

And many times, some of these are avoidable. Proper planning certainly can inhibit undue stress. Extra care can often eliminate accidents and emergencies. Better communication can prevent misunderstandings.

But even with these precautions, stresses still can build up.

So I believe that God has given us one (and only one) sure-fire way to combat stresses in our lives.

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT).

Worries, cares, anxieties, and concerns: these are what the Bible most often calls the stresses of our lives. These are the things we need to leave in God’s care. And when we leave them in His care, that doesn’t mean that we simply neglect them and stay hands off; it does mean, however, that we leave the “worries” about them in God’s hands. It means that He is the One Who is working things out. We still pay the bills. We still participate in the meetings. We still work through the preparations. BUT …

We don’t stress.

We don’t fret.

We don’t lose sleep over the issues of life;

Instead, we let Him do the “worrying.”

And that’s somewhat humorous, because we know that God doesn’t fret over things. Instead, “ we know that God causes everything to work togetherfor the good of those who love [Him] and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28 NLT).

God has His own agenda for our cares and concerns … and as we follow Him,

We will see that the stresses are resolved

We will see that situations are taken care of in a godly and timely manner

And we will see that God receives all the glory.

Here is what Jesus had to say about all of this in Matthew 6:24-34

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.

So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today (Matthew 6:24-34 NLT).

And so, I encourage you this day.

Let’s reduce the stress.

Let’s reduce the worry.

Let’s cast our cares upon the One who cares for us.

And let’s give Him all the glory!