Are you afraid of what may happen next in this story we all find ourselves in? The best meme I’ve seen says:
Does anyone else feel like life is being written by a 4th grader?
And there was this virus and everyone was scared.
And then the world ran out of toilet paper.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, an’ an’ and then there was no school for like a month.
And then it snowed!
Yeah, it kinda feels like that doesn’t it? Some states are fully shut down now and the rest seem to be not far behind. Who knows what our reality will be come Monday? Will it get worse? Will there be more bad news?
These are the thoughts that currently fill our minds. And perhaps more so than ever before it’s time for us to practice 2 Corinthians 10:5 “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
We cannot allow our thoughts to run wild. We must reign them in, take ownership of the things we’re allowing to fill our minds, and make those thoughts get in alignment with our truth.
We can face our reality with our truth. Truth that God’s eye is on us. Truth that this is not beyond his reach. Truth that every day of our lives have been accounted for, including this day and all our tomorrows.
I began studying Psalm 112: 6-7 this morning. It says “Surely the righteous will never be shaken … They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
Of course, what stood out most to me is “having no fear of bad news”. How can we stop fearing what may happen next? It says the steadfast heart that doesn’t fear bad news and instead trusts in the Lord is found in the RIGHTEOUS.
Alrighty then, how do we become righteous?
Ecclesiastes 7:20 says “Surely there is no righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.”
Well if never sinning is the requirement here, I’m counted out … how about you? I’ve fallen short of that mark. I try to do good, but although my intentions are good, sometimes my flesh gets in the way and I screw this thing up. You too?
So, does that mean righteousness is unattainable and we will always have to fear bad news with a shaken heart?
Not at all.
Ya’ll, this is why we have Jesus!!!!!
Romans 3:22 says “Righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”
This isn’t about me and what I’ve done, nor is it about you and what you’ve done. This is about Jesus and what he did for both of us. His sacrifice has covered us. This is where we find righteousness. No other way. Only Jesus.
So, it is our faith in Jesus Christ that makes us not fear bad news. It is our faith in Jesus Christ that strengthens us to face this reality and not be shaken. It is our faith in Jesus Christ that keeps our heart steady and our trust placed firmly in God.
Righteousness is something we cannot work out on our own. Nor is stability.
For this, we need Jesus.
And for this, we have Jesus.
Many years ago our family was going through a struggle. We were fighting for the life of one of our children. Her mind had been under attack of the enemy and she found herself in a deep darkness without a will to live. Every day was a new struggle I was grossly under-prepared for. I was pretty convinced God had chosen the wrong gal to be her mother. I was not equipped for that battle.
And yet I was. Every day the Almighty equipped me. Every day he provided exactly what I needed for that day’s fight. And everyday my answer was Jesus.
I began writing it on my hand as a reminder … “For this, I have Jesus.”
Whatever happened next, I had Jesus. And he had me.
Does it mean everything magically went away? No. Does it mean I handled it all perfectly? Not at all. If there were a limit on God’s grace, I would have reached it. But I found his grace is unlimited and I was always covered. So was my girl.
So here we are today in our story of 2020 that seriously seems to have been written by a fourth grader. It’s a big ol’ run on sentence with a series of crazy events only separated by “and”. And … I don’t know what’s coming next.
But whatever it is, FOR THIS, WE HAVE JESUS.
Through him we are made righteous, and the righteous do not have to fear bad news. We will never be shaken. Our hearts are steadfast.
In Hebrew, the word heart often means “inner self”. Within, I am steadfast. This is my heart and my mind. My heart is not troubled and my mind is not in an uproar. I can face trouble without being troubled. I can be surrounded by chaos, but the chaos doesn’t have to get inside of me. Don’t let it get inside of you. A boat is surrounded by water, but the problem is when the water starts getting in the boat. We can be surrounded by trouble and chaos, and we are. The problem is when we allow that trouble and chaos to get inside of us. Be so filled with Jesus, there’s no room for trouble to seep in.
Because of Jesus, we can be grounded in peace in the middle of the storm.
Remember when Jesus was on the boat with his disciples and a big storm came, threatening to sink their boat? Where was Jesus? Ahhhh, he was sleeping. He was at complete peace in the middle of that storm. He knew how the story would end. He was in complete control of the wind and the waves.
And he’s in control of this storm too my sister!
Receive his peace.
You do not have to fear bad news. Why? Because you have Jesus!
Jesus does not insulate us from bad things. He protects us from the bad taking over our heart and mind. He strengthens us to become the peace others see in the storm.
You and I have an opportunity to be Jesus to someone else now. Bring peace and calm. This is our calling.
Whenever you face uncertainty … Whenever you face hardship … Whenever you’re at your wits end today with kids making messes, complaining of boredom and eating every snack you’ve packed away in your pantry. Whenever you’re stir crazy stuck in these same 4 walls … Or whenever you’re exhausted from the overwhelming workload this has created …
Remember this …
FOR THIS, YOU HAVE JESUS.
Precisely for this, there is Jesus. He has this covered.
This is why we can face this reality without uproaring fear. This is why we can radiate peace and love when others may fight and hoard. Don’t hate them. Stop it. I promise that’s not what Jesus would do. He would see those who are fighting and hoarding and he would love them and offer his peace.
Shouldn’t we do the same? If someone isn’t covered in the righteousness of Jesus, of course they are fearful. Of course they are shaken. We would be too. But we have Jesus. Let’s offer a little of our Jesus to everyone. Our world needs it.
Whatever you face today … Whatever is unveiled in today’s news and whatever remains unspoken as a continued mystery … Whatever is unfolding in your job and in your home … Whatever thoughts may disrupt the peace in your mind and whatever threats may shake your heart … Remember, for this you have Jesus.
Write it on your hand today.
For this, I have Jesus.