Hope and Peace in the Storm
There is no end to things we could choose to be afraid of, is there? Uncertainty. Suffering. Sickness. Even death. If you permit any form of media into your life, you will undoubtedly see more than one potentially fear-inducing subject beyond your control plastered across the news every single day. Sometimes you don't even need the media to see it. Whether these storms are true threats or more hype than reality, fear is fear. Our response can range from simple annoyance to debilitation. But I don't believe we are meant to live in fear.
Even in the midst of storms, we can have peace. Even in suffering, hope can be found.
I want to share what I believe, because I think everyone is ultimately searching for meaning in life, for purpose, identity, and connection. And I have faith in a God who answers all of those needs.
I believe in the God of the Bible, and that He is Love and Light. I believe there is an enemy, satan, who comes to steal, kill, and destroy, and he has been in that business a long, long time. I believe God came to earth in the human form of an obedient Son, Jesus Christ, for the purpose of reversing the works of satan and inviting mankind to follow Him in living a surrendered and overcoming life. He laid his life down, and satan thought he had won when Jesus was killed by crucifixion. But that was not the end of the story! Jesus defeated death when the power of God restored him to life on the third day! He overcame even death through surrender to God, and in so doing has purchased our freedom from death as well. The overcoming life leads to eternal life. We've all fallen short and become separated from the God of love through sin. In being separated, we lose sight of who we truly are (His masterpieces!), and of the destiny to which we are invited. A destiny that I believe (based on verses in Romans 8) involves liberating all of creation and seeing it restored to original design! Being surrendered and connected to God means that He gives us His Spirit to live inside of us. The same Spirit that brought Jesus back from the dead is offered to us if we will receive Him. It's not hard to do...only ask. And then receive.
Folks, this is good news. This is good news that is not dampened or tempered by crises in the world that the enemy of our souls desires to use for evil. It is possible to experience peace even while a storm rages, and hope in the midst of every trial.
If you are already a follower of Jesus and still feel the effects of fear, maybe you just need to be reminded WHO you are, WHOSE you are, and WHOSE SPIRIT lives inside you. I know I need that reminder from time to time!
If the storms of life have you wishing for a lifeboat and you have never surrendered your life to the God who loves you, what do you have to lose? He is not far off from any of us and invites us to ask Him to shoulder our burdens and live in His freedom from fear, meaninglessness, and isolation. When we walk in freedom we are on our way to setting others free.