“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
It’s hard sometimes. To not be anxious. To not be worried or stressed about events in life. General pressures, work situations, mistakes, unexpected occurrences, can all have us anxious. And who hasn’t felt anxious? Who hasn’t been worried, apprehensive, fearful, uneasy, perturbed, disquieted, troubled, agitated, tense, stressed, overwrought…. over something in life?
But here is Paul, telling us not to be anxious ever! He doesn’t ignore the fact that we may have cause to be worried. Instead he offers us a solution, by taking the situation to God, we can trade our anxiety for His peace. Our worry for His rest. God’s peace means tranquillity, calm, freedom from internal strife. You’re still in the storm but God’s peace prevails in your heart and mind. In essence, we can pray and not worry as we give our concerns to the Lord.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.’ (1 Peter 5:7)
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” (John 11:25)
Today, everyday, this is the reality of Easter. On Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead. He conquered death, and victory was secured.
This glorious truth, that Jesus is the Resurrection, was shared to Martha long before His journey to the Cross. Before His death was even imagined or comprehended by His disciples.
In terms of time, we may live on the other side of the Cross and we live with the knowledge that Jesus was crucified, died and was buried and rose again on the third day. But still, this is a declaration that Jesus makes to us today. We don’t need to wait for “the last day” to experience the resurrection power of Jesus. Jesus is here now, raising us to a new kind of life through His Spirit.
So the question that Jesus asked Martha, “Do you believe this?” is the same for us today. Do we believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life? Today? Now? Not just for a date in the future but for our today?
Her reply, “Yes Lord, I believe”
“And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by” (John Masefield)
Before the age of GPS, before the time when man-made satellites joined the stars in the sky as tools for navigation, sailors sailed the sea guided by the stars – celestial navigation. They used the position of the fixed stars as their guide. The stars were their constant in the changing seas.
God is our constant. He is steadfast and unchanging. No matter what we have to face each day, or what uncertainties lie ahead, God is there with His mercy and His love. As constant as the Northern Star is our God. There to guide us, love us and bring new mercies and grace into every new day.
“I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until the day of His return.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
Heavenly Father, I release to you the burdens that I have been carrying, burdens that You never intended for me to carry. I cast all my cares upon You-all my worries, all my fears.
Father, calm my restless spirit, quiet my anxious heart, still my troubling thoughts with the assurance that You are in control. I let go of my grip upon the things I have been hanging onto, with opened hands I come to You.
I thank You for Your promise to sustain me, preserve me, and guard all that I have entrusted to Your keeping. Protect my heart and mind with Your peace, the peace that passes all understanding. Father, may Your will be done in my life, in Your time, and in Your way.
(By Roy Lessin, DaySpring co-founder and writer)
I can think of no better way to start the New Year than borrowing words from my father’s New Year’s Day preach….
“As we gather together this New Year’s Day, in the Presence of God to worship Him and give thanks for the year that has passed and petition Him for the year that is to come, I want to underline for you this wonderful, hopeful, promise filled truth, that – Our God is a God who rejoices in offering us a new beginning – not just for now, not just for today, or tomorrow, or this year, but for life and forever.
No matter what has shattered and battered us in the past – long ago or just recently – No matter how badly we have failed and messed up our lives and others – our God, at this very moment stretches out His hand to pick us up, dust us down, wipe away our tears, heal our wounds, clean us up, and set us on our feet again.”
Happy New Year Everyone!
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight
I’m sure all of us hold many hopes for the future. Dreams for what we hope it holds. Hopes and desires for our families, for work, for our passions. We can also carry fears for the future. Of what could happen, fears of what we think lies ahead. It’s like a coin – two sides – hopes on one side, fears on the other.
It’s why I love the line in the carol “O little town of Bethlehem” which says
“The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” A baby, born in the little town of Bethlehem, is the answer to all our hopes and fears. We can trust our thoughts of the future – whether they are hopes or fears to Jesus.
And when we entrust our hopes and fears to Him, we will find rest. We will find peace.
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.” (Psalm 62:5)
“Is everything sad going to come untrue?” (Sam Gamgee to Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings)
“[Some mortals] say of some temporal suffering, “No future bliss can make up for it,” not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.” (C.S. Lewis)
There are words that do not exist in Heaven. Words that are not uttered. Sickness. Poverty. Pain. Disease. Disability. Death. The moment we step into eternity they will all fall away. There is no place for them, no memory of them left in Heaven. Here on earth though, we look around and the evidence of the fallen world is everywhere. Those words that bring such pain and devastation are spoken, endured and lived with.
But the promise that we have in Jesus, is that there will be a new day and those words will cease to exist. Our pain will be non-existent, not even a memory. Every sad thing will come untrue.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21: 4-5
On earth as it is in Heaven – for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
Come Lord Jesus.