“Praise the Lord! How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands.”
My oldest son is a senior in high school. He is excited not only about graduating but heading on to the next season of his life. Of the four schools he has applied to, there are two that were his top choices. He received one acceptance letter a few weeks ago and was excited. So we continued to wait for the other schools to respond. Fast forward to a week ago when he breaks the news, “Dad my grades slipped this quarter and I am worried about the one school I really want to get in too, I may have blown my chance.”
I could feel my inner man shifting. What will my son do? He can’t stay in our home. Is this going to be more money coming out of my pocket? (Selfish I know but I am being transparent) I noticed how extreme my thoughts had become. Anxiety and worry had crept in. The thoughts permeated my mind and like a wildfire it spread to deeper levels. Then that morning while in prayer time with the Father he reminded me of Psalms 112. “How joyful are those who fear the Lord, and delight in obeying his commands.” This is the beginning of true joy for us. That fear is really our reverence for the Lord. There is joy in obeying God out of reverence not just obedience. Reverence is our respect for the Lord, which really conveys our faith that we trust in our Lord. You have an advantage that can be found in Christ when we have faith in Him. Not just know him but have faith in HIM. Faith friend is what we can rest in and also help others to hope in.
There are a lot of things happening in the world today that are causing fear and anxiety. But this is where we have the opportunity to help others experience calm and peace and the confidence that comes from Christ. Our confidence can be certain when we have or we take up FAITH. Faith can be defined as a tangible response to a spiritual reality. It requires us to oftentimes do something or take action. Not just outward action however. It is action in our mind or in our thoughts. Psalms 112 is a good expression of some of the benefits of faith in God. Especially now with the coronavirus upon the world it appears to be a situation that is producing anxiety and worry, but in the Word of God we can find hope and joy. There are a few things I want to encourage you with about placing faith in the Father.
First, we can find joy when things appear out of control or overwhelmingly against us. I must admit that when my son came with that news about his grades it did not bring me a sense of joy at first. This passage of scripture came to mind and then I realized that if I delight in obeying God and giving him my trust-there can be joy. What a relief. This reverence or respect for God is an expression of love that God accepts wholeheartedly. I don’t know about you but I have seen folks that are concerned when trouble arises. So when you run across that person that is smiling in the midst of chaos they may just know the advantage of trusting God.
Second, we don’t have to worry with our circumstances when we know where our faith lies. In verse four it reads “that light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate and righteous.” Light has the ability to overcome darkness. Think about when you come into a dark room and light a match, the light illuminates the entire room. That is our hope in the midst of a dark situation. Friends this light represents deliverance from affliction for us and also helps us to bring light to others in the midst of trouble. Christ needs us to be as a salve for the world that is hurting in the midst of uncertainty. We must be the salve that sends joy and light in a dark world. Scripture reminds us “Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.” Psalms 30:5 is our hope and is what we stand for.
The third advantage of having faith in God is we do not focus on what is before us but we look within. Verse seven says, they do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.” We know who has our best interests. We know it is God and we can rest that He has us. To “Confidently trust” does not mean haphazard, sometimes, or a little but it is an unwavering belief that we know who has us in His care. No matter if it is the coronavirus or something else, we know who takes care of us. Pandemics or any other trouble cannot trump God we must believe this. Focus on the advantages of Faith in God, focus on the care that He gives us in times of concern.
The advantages of faith in God remind us that we can rest in knowing that God is for us and we have access to benefits that only He can give. My prayer today is that you will trust God in your thoughts and actions today.
Be encouraged Family,