God is our protection and our strength. He always helps in times of trouble. So we will not be afraid even if the earth shakes, or the mountains fall into the sea. God says, “Be still and know that I am God. I will be praised in all the nations;
I will be praised throughout the earth.” The Lord All-Powerful is with us; the God of Jacob is our defender. (Psalm 46: 1-2, 10-11 NCV)
Been an interesting few months, hasn’t it? Our nation is as divided as it has been in a century and a half, and this is taking a toll on our families too. Truth is nowhere to be found in our government, our media or our culture. This has created an atmosphere of distrust so thick and noxious that even if this country were to somehow raise up a Truthseeker as a leader, who would even believe him or her?
Good news—God is still God. It’s hard to find evidence in these troubled times that He is still on His throne, but where else would He be? He does not change, no matter what happens down here. When we say that the world is “out of control,” we mean that it’s out of our control. It is never out of His.
However difficult this truth can be to hold onto when our lives are in turmoil, we must persevere in doing so. Whenever our way of life is threatened because of what’s going on in the world around us, we have to remember that this way of life was never meant to last anyway. We are looking forward to life eternal that will not pass away. For this reason, we fix our eyes and our faith on the things that don’t move.
Bad days are going to happen. Sometimes we will have seasons of life that could last months or years when we don’t feel God’s presence. We may doubt His goodness, or even His existence. However, whenever I find myself in such a spiritual funk, I always come back to what Peter said to Jesus in John 6:68, after Jesus asked the Twelve if they were going to desert Him, as many other disciples were doing:
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
I couldn’t go back to my old life if I wanted to, and there have been days where I wanted to. There are days when it just doesn’t seem worth the effort or the sacrifice that it takes to live the Christian life, because I can’t see the reward from here. When my fear outweighs my faith, I forget what God has already done, throughout history, and in my life personally. Some days I just want to chuck it all, but then I always find myself face to face with the question, “OK, then what?”
One thing that I have done for myself, and that I highly recommend for others, is to keep a journal of some sort listing every answer to prayer, every unexpected blessing, any time you have seen scripture fulfilled, any change in your life that can only be attributed to the power of the Holy Spirit. Keep this in an easily accessible place. I have mine as a document on the desktop of my computer.
When times get difficult, or if you’re just in a dry season of doubt, open that up and read it. Satan can’t get a foothold in your mind if you keep your memories fresh of what God has done for you. Staying in scripture every day is a good weapon, but it can be even more effective to regularly make the personal connection of where you’ve seen God at work in your life and the lives of those close to you.
If you do this, expect there to be some gaps in this journal. It is not likely that you are going to experience a bona fide miracle every day of your life. This doesn’t mean that God’s ignoring you. Learning to trust His timing. A day always comes when things fall neatly into place, and you can look back and see the progress that led to that point. You very rarely notice that progress while it’s happening, though. So when it does, put that in your journal with a note of thanksgiving and praise that God was in control of the situation from the very beginning. Remember, He can see the end of things long before you get there.
It is also critical to remember that God doesn’t always ride in and “save us” whenever we think we need saving. Sometimes, He lets us go through things for reasons that we aren’t aware of yet. Sometimes we never learn why in this life. If we have faith that all of our questions will be answered in heaven, that can help our outlook somewhat. Remember, God doesn’t come around to our way of thinking; therefore, we must do our best to learn His.
The only way to conquer fear is to practice faith. It has to be exercised just like our bodies. If you are one of the many who has bought a health club membership, but not lost any weight or inches off your midsection, then you already know that your situation might improve if you actually went to the health club. Owning the membership doesn’t create actual change. Owning a Bible without reading it has the same effect. Knowing about the power of prayer without actually praying—ditto.
In the same way, we must keep renewing our minds by reminding ourselves constantly that God does not change. He does not move. He is with us and He is for us. And He always will be.
Be still, and know that.