“When will life ever get back to normal?” These words have been echoed repeatedly in hospitals, grocery stores, schools, and homes.
But there is no going back. We can only go forward to find a new normal.
“TAKE HEART I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Jesus is speaking to us who are weary and overwhelmed. The obvious question is how.
How, Jesus? How do I “take heart?”
Attempting to ease our inward disquiet, we focus our thoughts and efforts outward. “If my spouse, employer, finances, kids, the government, NATO would …, then I would find peace and joy and hope.” “If I could control my anger, depression, addiction, and fear, then maybe…” The more we pursue peace and happiness, like a deer in the headlights, peace and joy flee.
The loss of loved ones, jobs, friends, homes, businesses, and financial stability has unanchored many souls and left an empty ache in many hearts. Now we all hold our breath, feeling helpless in a sea of madness as a new kind of storm grips the world. A message on how Jesus walked on water will hardly cause the inner storms of fear, anxiety, depression, anger, and doubt to abate.
WE DON’T NEED A GRIPPING MESSAGE FOR THIS STORM;
WE NEED AN ANCHOR!
Jesus Christ is your anchor! He will keep you in the center of God’s love and tender comfort and hope. You may get wet when there is a tidal wave of bad news, but in Christ, you will not drown or lose your way. Below are three practical truths that anchored the Apostle Paul’s soul during his storms of tribulation and injustice, causing him to say, “I have learned the secret of being content in all circumstances.” (Philippians Chapter Four) Our prayer is that you, like Paul, find peace, joy, and contentment because you too are kept by Christ, THE ANCHOR.
Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.”
“Let” means “do not prevent or forbid. To allow.” Don’t try, strive, medicate, meditate, or manage fearful thoughts and feelings through willpower and determination. “Let” summarizes the entire Christian way of life. By confessing that Christ is Lord, we “let” God make us new creations and sons. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the grave lives in us as a new source of power to overcome, to will and work in us, if we “let” the Spirit be our source to victory.
The first step is to be born again and receive the Holy Spirit as an overcoming power we tap into by faith. Once you are born again, God sets up a base camp of operation in your spirit. From there, He can quiet your soul and inspire you with discernment and ability if you let Him. After being born again, the whole trick of “let” is understanding Paul’s secret to contentment. How did Paul “let” God? He pursued the Vine instead of the fruit.
The peace of God ensues due to clinging to the Vine, Christ Jesus. I know some of you may likely think like me. This sounds great, Theresa, but how?
We “let” the Spirit bear fruit in our soul the same way we “let” God regenerate our spirit. We acknowledge that He is the Lord, and we are not. We did not work our way to salvation, and we do not produce the fruit of our salvation. Instead, we acknowledge our neediness to a tender and sympathetic Father. We ask Him to will and work in us what we cannot will and work apart from Him.
You do not “let” God when you rely on self-effort. You must stop monopolizing and strategizing to “let” God. You must cease striving and reaching for the fruit of Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and divine power. Notice that these fruits are the result of the Vine, not a change in outward circumstances or the result of strategic good time and mind management. Instead, reach for and cling to the Vine to receive the fruit of the Spirit.
Be careful not to confuse Father God with others in your life who may not have been tender and sympathetic to your needs. If you want to know what Father God is like, look to His Son, who is the exact representation and radiance of the Father. His love and goodness were demonstrated in that WHILE WE WERE YET sinners, He sent His son. God did not send His Son because we were sinners. He sent His Son because we were lost and wearied and because He loves and values us despite our behavior, good or bad. Matthew 9:36 reveals God’s heart toward us. “Seeing the people, Jesus felt compassion for them because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.” Jesus came to be the Good Shepherd, to bring us to God through new birth, and to give us rest for our souls in the valley of the shadow of darkness.
God wills and works in those who “let” Him. Colossians 3:16 gives us two practical and interdependent applications, meaning together they produce contentment and the hope that is yours in Christ.
- “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you,
- with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
First, dwell on who you are in Christ to let the Spirit work in you. This is how you count on Christ Jesus to produce the fruit of hope in you. You are God’s son or daughter. God hid you in Christ, seated you in Him in heavenly places. Your heavenly Father knows the end from the beginning and is the provision to take you through every storm. As you “let Christ richly dwell” in your thoughts and minds, you abide in the Vine. That is how you “let” the Vine produce the fruit of peace and joy in your soul. The Vine has already overcome the madness around us and is the only peace and hope of our times.
Secondly, SHARE the hope you now have with others so that they know how to “let the peace of Christ dwell in their hearts.” You cannot share the peace of Christ and simultaneously not come to know and experience the peace of Christ. It is like giving water away by the bucket full. You are bound to get wet by the water you give away. To reap, you must sow. We are the victors, holding out the light that crushes the darkness.
You cannot set your mind on two things at once. When you declare that God will be your strength, hope, and peace through every gust of wind, it eradicates despair, depression, and confusion. Therefore, sow what you want to grow. Do not just dwell on Christ in you, but also BE THE CHURCH. Share with others the hope you have in Christ. Dwelling and sharing are how we “let” the Lord dwell richly in us so that by His Spirit, He can reproduce His life in us. He, Himself, is already our peace.
WHAT GOD HAS PROMISED TO DO, HE WILL DO IN THOSE WHO LET HIM
I am aware that sometimes life is confusing and painful. I know that man’s anchors (solutions) may have weighed you down and sunk you rather than equipping you for storms. I have a caring, competent staff who can identify with your struggles, and they have relevant answers for you. They can lead you to the rock, the anchor that will keep you through every storm and show you how all things are possible through Christ. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Stop the inner madness. Others who feel like you have found lasting healing, freedom, and victory at Life Center. We have openings and know that what God has promised to do, He will do in those who “let” Him.