Wednesday, July 15, 2020

When fear is on your doorstep...

I have set the Lord always before me; because 
He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

Psalm 16:8

What does it mean to set the Lord always before you? It means that you choose to relate everything you encounter to your trust in God. What you choose to focus on becomes the dominant influence in your life. You may be a Christian, but if your focus is always on your problems, your problems will determine the direction of your life. If your focus is on people, then people will determine what you think and do. In biblical times, the right hand was the most distinguished position, reserved for one's chief adviser and supporter. When you choose to focus on Christ, you invite Him to take the most important position in your life as Counselor and Defender.

Every time you face a new experience, you should turn to Christ for His interpretation and strength. When people insult you and mistreat you, you should seek direction from your Counselor regarding the right response. When you face a crisis, you should receive strength from the One at your right hand. When you experience need, you should consult your Counselor before you react. When you face a fearful situation, you should take courage from the Advocate at your right hand. Everything you do is in the context of your relationship to Christ.
What an incredible act of God's grace that Christ should stand beside you to guide you and counsel you and defend you! How could you ever become dismayed over your situation with Christ at your right hand? What confidence this should give you! - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

It's that kind of age in which we live right now.  Fears of a kind not seen in a great many generations are growing all across the world.  Fears that are shaking a great many people to their core. 

People are, perhaps for the first time, afraid of dying, afraid of losing everything, of losing friends and family.  Things they never dreamed possible a year ago.  Potentially losing their jobs or homes. 

What came knocking on my door yesterday was fear.  We are told of a slowdown of orders.  Cutting back on hours for at least 2 weeks.  Maybe more if some things don't turn around. 

I have made it no secret that I can't proceed through an ordinary day without talking with Jesus, how much more so after such news?

So what to do?  Do what God puts before you.  Filing an unemployment claim for those days was suggested and I did.  

Remember that story I related to you a while ago about a woman who kept saying to all attempts of saving her no.  That God was going to save her, an she died, was before God, angry that He hadn't saved her.  God telling her that He sent a truck, a boat and a helicopter, what more did she need?

God always provides.  Maybe not in the way we expect or desire but He always keeps His promises. 

How can I tell all of you in this world to look to Jesus, if in a moment like this in my life I falter and don't do it myself? 

As I sit here and write this out, it's being brought to my mind that old hymn "It is Well".  I think also about a song by Mercy Me. "Even if".  I go now to the book of Daniel.  Daniel's friends response to the King.  Even if God chooses to take their lives rather than spare them, let it be known He is who they serve, not King Nebuchadnezzar, who wants their worship. 

There was a reminder in my Facebook memories of a few years ago.  It was of a painful time in my life, one that was by far the most excruciating I have ever felt.  I sit here today a result of God's answered prayers.  I look at 5 plus years of one job after another, various reasons for leaving one for the next, all answers to prayer.  I look at a moment when I had to have surgery for a 5mm x 7mm kidney stone.  The timing was horrible. The thing hit me the day before the finale of the Church Christmas program. I was the only one trained for that program's intelligent lighting system for it.  God made a way for me to be there to go through with it.
I could write here all day and share dozens of other times when I know God was with me in my distress. Note clearly, IN my distress.  Did not say He took me OUT of my distress.  He didn't remove Daniel's friends from the fiery furnace. He joined them. He didn't sit aside when a ship that Paul was on was going to sink. He stood by him.  He heard the request of a thief on a cross to remember him and He did. He was with Jesus in Paradise that day.

Satan will in all your rough times go through great lengths to destroy your hope.  He doesn't want you to remember who's you are. He doesn't want you to be content with your unfavorable circumstances.  He wants to incapacitate you. 

So if you are facing something fearful today or have been, stop n just be with Jesus ok?  Ask Him to remind you of all the times He has indeed kept His promises to you.  

I haven't mentioned some of the other big times in my life.  Big enough that Jesus spoke audibly to me.  Like when I met the woman was going to be my Wife.  I had only spoken to her by phone and the internet. I pulled into her driveway and before I shut off my car, upon only seeing her, I heard Jesus. "There she is, take care of her and don't mess it up". 
There's the time when, by all rights I should have died, I was saved. A semi truck ran a red light and hit me.  He shortened my pickup by 3 feet.  The impact was that great.  I only had a broken arm from it. I was walking around afterwards like nothing happened. Right before impact a hand went over my eyes and I heard "I don't want you to see this".

He protected me.  He will be there in your life too. From the greatest percieved problem to the smallest, when all it is is that you can't find something.  Jesus keeps His promises. 

Is it well with your soul?  Look to that hymn.  Then take your anxiety to the cross.  Jesus said that He would never leave us nor forsake us.  I have a lifetime to look at to prove that promise is true. 

Before you might consider my results special, note that in many of those trials, I didn't immediately react the way I probably should have. But Jesus was faithful nonetheless. His promise keeping isn't based on my level of emotion. His promise keeping is based upon His Name. He gave His word. 

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