From Rick Siel:
Are you finding yourself a little anxious and angry or rejoicing and at peace? Either way, might I suggest three tips for Christ-like living that you may help today?
Step One: Find a Floyd
Find people who have managed these feelings with hope. Watch them, and learn from them. See how they navigate life’s uncertainties; and notice their peace, calm and joy.
Let me introduce you a friend of mine that I learned from. While he is with the Lord now, he was a shining example of how to handle the world around him, particularly during times of unrest and uncertainty. I first met Floyd in the 70s. He was a loving man, had a beautiful singing voice and was always full of joy. He had lived through the Great Depression and served his country during World War II. He had seen plenty. Yet it was rare to see his face without a smile because of his trust in Jesus. He was a student of the Word. Floyd believed each new day was the day Jesus would rapture him home. He was ready every day, and he talked about it often. Floyd was definitely heavenly-minded. He was “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). His joy made an impression on many people and he was always quick to share his faith and love for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
And though Floyd’s Christ-focused mindset kept his hope in the heavens, it never prevented him from enjoying a long career in sales, a wife, children, and grandchildren, because he knew that his joy in them was rooted in his joy in the Lord. If Floyd were here today, he’d be abreast of the latest news, but he wouldn’t stress about it. In fact, he would be excited to be living in these days.
Step Two: Spend Time with Jesus
No Christian is ever going to say, “I don’t want to spend time with God,” but our actions, at times, reflect something else. Whether reading his Word or spending time in prayer, the men and women most at peace in the midst of trouble are the people who have fellowship with Jesus daily. You can’t hear God’s voice well when you’re distracted by the world. When you listen to Him humbly, God will show you your sin, encourage you by His grace, help you in your troubles, express His love for you as your Father, and guide you in your paths for His name’s sake. But, you must be alone with Him. Find a quiet place. For me it’s during my daily workout times. For you it might be on a mountain, near a lake, taking a walk or in your closet.
Be prepared though, and be on guard, because if you are at all like me, you will get sidetracked and distracted. Your friends show up, your favorite show will come on, and people will call you. Regardless of such things, you must choose the Lord and pray about these distracting things. Pray for that friend or family member who called. Pray for the stress and anxiety you are experiencing. “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18). Yes, community is amazing, but there must be a time daily when you get away from everything and you get silent. “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalms 46:10).
Step Three: Rejoice in God’s Sovereignty and His Grace
God is in control. Hallelujah! He is the one who created everything and all of this is His plan. God is the one who declares the end from the beginning.
“…and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it: I will also do it.” (Isa. 46:10-11).
And, at the same time, God is also been very, very good towards us. He has actually chosen to enter into our suffering and trouble and experience it with us.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. (Heb. 4:15)
There is no other proposed god like that in the world, who suffers with His people. Therefore, His sovereignty becomes kind, because even when His plan brings suffering to us, it is because He has a reason that is loving, though we may not understand it at this time.
How can we not trust a God like that? How can we not trust the God who suffers with us through the difficult times in order to bring us into the comforts of His love by sharing the inheritance of His Son with us. In these times we are reminded that our inheritance is not on Earth, but in heaven, “incorruptible and undefiled and…does not fade away” (1 Peter 1:4). So, as we walk through this day and the next, we remember the words from a wonderful hymn, ”My hope is found in nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness” May we all be singing this song.