In the End

When will it end? The constant fear, masks, quarantines, riots, backward politicians. When will all of this be done with? I just want to get on with my life! 

I’ve thought this many times and I know I’m not the only one. I’m absolutely sick of it. For the longest time, I assumed it would end or turn around. Not Covid-19 per se, but all that comes with it. The political drama and people so divided. Maybe I’m not thinking about this right. Does God guarantee us the peace and sense of security we’ve become accustomed to? I haven’t been able to find the verse in which he promises safety in this world. In fact, this world isn’t even our home. How are we expecting it to be so comfortable?

John 18:36 (ESV)

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”  

Jesus himself said that this isn’t our home. We aren’t entitled to security that comes from this world and it isn’t what we should be seeking. Here we are so divided by trivial things as the real enemy seals the trap. While we fight for what we feel is right or wrong whether wearing masks or not, unsaved men, women, and children are dying of starvation, illnesses, and poverty. As we’re distracted by arguments over extensions of quarantine, broken people reach the end of their rope, going as far as taking their own lives because we’re distracted and they can’t bring themselves to reach out about something that “probably isn’t that important.” 

There’s more to this than what we see. Satan’s fingerprints are evident. We may be fighting for something we feel strongly about, but I was convicted in Church on Sunday when I heard Romans 13:1. Who is the real enemy? We may not agree with our politicians, but ultimately they were put in place by God. Unless it’s a choice between God and our earthly leaders, why are they fighting them? Remember our leaders will have to answer to God in the end for their choices. 

John 10:10 (ESV)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Jesus came to bring life. If we think for a moment this is home, it isn’t. Don’t fall for the false sense of security that comes from living in an area so free from persecution. I’m not saying God’s heart is for us to suffer unnecessarily, or to give persecution, but we live in a fallen world. Don’t trust this world to give you security. That can be found in God alone. How will you live until you’re called home? Will you fight for personal security in this world as more are forever lost? 

Luke 19:10 (ESV)

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

We want to be more like Jesus. Christianity was never supposed to be about works. It still isn’t. If you think you can save the lost, or through you presenting the gospel, you’re winning Heaven points, you aren’t. It’s about the heart. God wants a relationship with you. This relationship should lead to fruit, but fruit won’t produce salvation. What I mean by this is when we’re pursuing a relationship with God, we will begin to see his heart for the lost. Which may lead us to do something. Ultimately it’s between you and God, but where’s your heart at? What do you allow to distract you? Why are you so insistent on security here?

Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

John 14:2-3 (ESV)

2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

James 2:17 (ESV)

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Don’t Lose the Dream

“Fear, he is a liar.” Let’s scream that from the rooftops. The song by Zach Williams seems relevant in many aspects of daily life. I never thought I struggled with fear or anxiety. Of all the things that I’ve struggled with I’d been grateful to not need to fight that battle. Okay, maybe it was more like a severe case of denial.

I dream and I love dreaming. I want to zip from one idea to the next, connecting the dots as I zoom along. It’s led me to difficulty at times because well dreaming is fun, acting on a dream requires a plan in which all the dots are connected and I often miss a dot, or five. When something goes wrong, it’s so easy to give in to fear. Satan likes to mock us, reminding us over and over about our inadequacies. No matter how many times we tell ourselves it’s a lie, we continually fall into the trap. How can we escape from this looming monster? 

Philippians 4:6-7

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Whoa, that sounds way too easy. Is that all it is? In my experience, that is all it takes to overcome the looming giant of fear. So what’s the big deal? Why is this such a struggle? Every time I fall into the pit of fear, I try to climb out alone. “I can do it!” So I run and jump but miss the edge. Each attempt, no matter how creative, sinks me deeper. Why do I try so hard to make it on my own? God is right there at the top edge. He’s already dangled the lifeline, all I need to do is hold on, letting go of myself and clinging to the only hope I have. 

That does not make our struggle easier. I know people who struggle with anxiety at a much deeper level. It doesn’t seem to be rooted in anything particularl, but it is crippling. I wish there were easy answers to our struggles as we all do, but somehow, God will take what is our “worst part” and make something beautiful. 

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Who is called according to his purpose? Is this an elite group of people? Suddenly, our inadequacies fire back up scaring us away from God’s promises. Those who are called according to his purpose are all of us. God has called each of us in accordance with his purpose. He is the maker of our dreams. When we hit roadblocks, pray. Before we even start we need to pray. It’s more than fulfilling a calling, it’s a relationship and God wants to be in it every step of the way. Our weakest moments are often the best if given to God because as Second Corinthians says:

2 Corinthians 12:9

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

When you are weak, fear not. Press on with the dream. Of course, continue prayerfully with Christ, but don’t let the fear of inadequacy overtake you. “[His] power is made perfect in weakness.” God is strong enough. He is big enough. He will overcome mountains to accomplish his will. Most wonderfully of all, he wants us to be a part of it!