LIVING EFFECTIVELY IN A MESSED UP WORLD
Hello Deer Flat,
I was perusing the headlines this morning and reminded again of how the world we live in is filled with turmoil. Here’s a sample from today:
Retaking Mosul – Kurdish, Iraqi and American forces vs. ISIS
The Quagmire of Aleppo
UN Sanctions Against Israel
Iranian Missiles targeting US Navy Destroyer in Red Sea
Disaster Clean Up in Haiti
Finger Pointing Between FBI and Department of Justice
The fierce conflicts we are witnessing in the two presidential camps are not just an American phenomenon, indeed it’s hard to find a country that isn’t fighting internally as we are. Most of the world is intensely divided, and our own domestic debates are part of a global disruption.
I saw a note written to a Christian Ministry that I thought captured the feelings of many people.
“I’m a Christian and I’m scared. It seems like the globalization of our world teeters on the brink of collapse. I worry about recessions. I worry about our retirement funds. I worry about the future of our children. I can’t believe it, but I’m scared to go to the mall. Is it safe?
Stock market dives, natural disasters, violence, and political unrest terrify me! How do I find peace?”
The ability to live sanely these days is a “God thing.” Here’s the key:
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
There is no doubt that the events happening in the world today are scary, and can bring much anxiety. But we who belong to the Lord must come to Him with our fears, anxious thoughts and troubles. He says “Fear Not” throughout His Word.
As Christians, it is imperative that we look to His Word to help us during these times. This also presents us with opportunities to share the Gospel with the lost. They are afraid too, and we have the BEST news in the whole word to tell them! It is during times when people feel so vulnerable, that they just might be more open to the message of Salvation.
Isaiah writes, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” (Isaiah 26:3-4)
Trusting in Christ is what transforms us, and keeping our mind stayed on Him is what sustains us. However, while we have the responsibility of actively keeping our minds fixed on his truth, Christ is ultimately the one who pursues us, opens our eyes, redeems us, and sustains us. If our Savior has done all of this for us, what more shall we fear? What are you allowing to steal the peace which he has purchased for you?
One of the greatest culprits that robs us of peace is our own lack of knowing the truth and believing it. Jesus tells us clearly that he will keep him in perfect peace the one whose mind is stayed on him. Why? Because when our minds are stayed on him, we come to know more of the incomparable holiness, power, love, sovereignty, and grace of the God we serve, which creates in us a greater humility, dependence, and trust in him alone. That knowing removes the fear.
When his Word permeates our hearts, it changes our thoughts, actions, and entire being. The things we once held so tightly to – our hopes and dreams, external comforts, health and financial security, and any other things which often rob our peace for fear of losing them – begin to lose their power over us as we learn to trust more fully in the love and sovereignty of Christ.
For the peace of Christ is not found in lack of turmoil, but in Christ’s presence within it.
Let me close with an important word. For a number of years, Deer Flat Church has made significant investments in Haiti. As you know, this small country has suffered much over the years due to poverty, earthquakes, disease, and most recently, Hurricane Matthew, resulting in a big increase in cholera, poor drinking water and little food. Deer Flat continues to make investments in Haiti, for which we are thankful. Your generosity still helps us make a difference there.
A great couple in the Deer Flat Family are Vahan and Zoe Sipantzi. They too, have also invested much in Haiti. Their generosity has touched many of us as well, because throughout the summer (Sunday after Sunday) they are always loading up our fruit and vegetable wagon with great produce. The various outlets where they sell their vegetables and produce have now closed for the season, but they still have a wonderful crop of apples and some fall vegetables. 100% OF THE MONEY GENERATED FROM SELLING THEIR HARVEST GOES TO SUPPORT AN ORPHANAGE IN HAITI, OPERATED BY MARANATHA MINISTRIES. Now, here’s the deal: You can bless them and the orphanage by stopping by their home and buying some of their goods. Their address: 26972 Lower Pleasant Ridge Road, Wilder. Just 2 blocks west of Hwy 95.
We’ve got an amazing Lord’s Day awaiting us this Sunday. Do you know someone who needs prayer for healing, some encouragement, some strength to endure? Why not invite them to join us, as we will be praying over all who would like prayer for healing. “Are any sick among you? Call for the Elders of the church. They will anoint you and pray over you, and the prayer of faith will make them well.” James 5
Can’t wait to see you! Come expecting great things. Bring some faith and some friends!
Loving You and Him,