“Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Let Your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in You.” – Psalm 33:20-22
Whether it is terrorist attacks, political tension, cultural extremes that pit Americans versus Americans, or maybe just the friction that is making your own life distressed, King Jesus wants us to stare at Him by faith and be more convinced than ever that He has us in His grip of grace. Because our souls are safely held by his omnipotent hand, there is no such thing as permanent disaster for the Christian. Of course we are subject to all the temporary losses, pains and hardships that non-believers experience. Nowhere in Scripture is there a promise to us of full immunity from the woes of planet earth. Yet, because we are not earthbound in our fullest hopes, we can stare all loss and pain in the eye and declare to all of it, “You will not have the last word over me. I am one of God’s overcomes.”
Even when Death shows up to tell us that our life is coming to an end, he is only there by permission. For the Christian, Death is God’s errand-boy who is sent to chauffeur us into our place of inheritance. It is ironic, but Death actually becomes our servant at the end of this journey because his only available work on us is to usher us into the presence of the One whose name is Life. All of the things that we tend to become preoccupied with down here exist in the realm of temporary. Sickness and pain cannot follow us where we are going. There is no Islam in the eternal presence of Jesus, much less Islamic terrorism. The absurd political climate happening in America right now does not even have a scintilla of validity in glory. While our cultural is obsessed with sexual autonomy, and continuing to deepen in our depraved depictions of that desire to become whatever we can envision, the Father continues to state unwaveringly from His throne, “I made two. I made male and female. End of discussion.” Racial strife can only be quelled via the Gospel, yet people are still looking to the government to change human hearts. Around the throne of God there is a continual scene of all people groups, ethnicities, generations, languages and cultures who are transfixed upon the Son of God as they experience continuously unfolding waves of His immeasurable majesty. There is no racial segregation, supremacy or strife in the presence of the Lamb.
All of these things will end. Perhaps some of them might end in your lifetime. The greater likelihood is that they will not.
But they do have an expiration date. Let’s keep that in mind today and tomorrow as we continue to follow Jesus. There is nothing wrong with staying informed about the world in which you live, but when the chaos of the culture has made its way inside of you, the peace that Jesus purchased for you begins to erode. Anger, fear and hostility grows. Joy, love, peace and hope begin to dim. We need to steward well our own hearts and align our lives in such a way that our minds are free to obey the clear command that the Apostle Paul left with us:
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” – Philippians 4:8
What owns our minds today is up to us. Aim high.
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