Since God presents us with many opportunities to minister to others who need our help, it’s good for us Christians to be aware of what’s going on in the world and in our immediate surroundings. This is why I like to highlight news stories I think are interesting. However, with all the bad news that crosses our paths, from the volatility of world markets to violence in the streets to natural disasters to the wicked prospering, it can be easy to get bummed out or fearful so let me take this moment to encourage all Christians to choose faith over fear and to remind you of the precious promises God has given us in these last and evil days.
When times like these make you want to stick your head in the sand or worry, just remember “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord…” [2 Timothy 1:7-8]. The Holy Spirit in us gives us power over what our enemies throw our way and power to live and preach the gospel. In a world where hearts are ice cold, we have the power to warm others with the unconditional love of Christ.
The Holy Spirit gives us a sound mind through faith to keep our sanity in insane situations. He gives us a sound mind to reason and think critically to prove, or test, all things so we can hold fast to that which is good. So we should let no man despise us [Titus 2:15] when they attack our faith. The sound mind we have with the wisdom and knowledge of God will show us how to refute all of their arguments. This, of course, requires us to put on the whole armor of God [Ephesians 6].
Our society is constantly telling us to worry about our retirement package or where our next meal is coming from or if we’ll still be able to stay in our homes. But the Lord gives us advice that is contrary to what the world tells us–
● Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. Luke 12:15–In other words, our lives are not held together based on how much stuff we can acquire and maintain in this world, but by our relationship with God.
● …he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. …And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Luke 12: 22-23, 29-31. — Our faith in God must have priority. But, of course, Jesus was not telling us to throw caution to the wind regarding our finances, just that material things are a much lesser priority than a relationship with God. If our relationship with God is right, material things will fall in place as we exercise God’s wisdom and knowledge.
● …I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:11-13 — God’s grace is sufficient for us to lead us through any circumstance whether good or bad, whether we are employed or unemployed, whether we are poor or rich. Being content doesn’t mean being complacent. Contentment means we have patience as we move forward with God’s help in trying to improve our situation without worrying, not only for our benefit but for the benefit of being able to minister to the needs of others.
● Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death. The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked. Proverbs 10:2-3
● Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 13:5-6 — Our lifestyle should not be one that is led by an obsession that says “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” or “I gotta have this” or “I gotta have that.” Being thankful for and content with what one already has helps us avoid the pitfalls of buying something we really don’t need that could put us in a financial hole and we don’t obsess over keeping up with the Joneses. When we are convinced God is always going to be with us no matter what, we become detached from the things of this world and don’t worry about screw-ups that deplete our 401k or IRA or jeopardize our socioeconomic status. This, in turn, makes us fearful of God and not man so we can preach an unadulterated, undiluted gospel.
Knowing that God is always faithful to his word, why worry? Why be fearful? In this season of discontent, I choose to believe God’s report, not man’s–so the networks can proclaim their doom and gloom all they want. This world and the manner of this world are passing away [1 Corinthians 7:31, 1 John 2:17], so I’m investing in something man can’t touch–faith in God and his heavenly kingdom.
posted by Harry A. Gaylord