Sunday, September 22, 2013

Better Days Ahead

Jesus said to his followers, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
-- Mark 4:40 
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

It's been about 2,000 years since Jesus' sunrisefirst disciples heard these great words of truth and wisdom. And aren't they just as relevant to modern-day Christ-followers? Turn on the TV and surf the Web, and just try to avoid the never-ending news coverage of political scandals, the economy and unemployment. And let's not forget earthquakes, hurricanes and unrest in the Middle East.

The point is that there are always storms of one kind or another. And there's no escape--even after you've switched off the TV, folded the newspaper and logged off the computer. For some folks, a storm might mean a job loss or bankruptcy. For others, it's a chronic illness or the prospect of major surgery. Maybe your trouble involves family or relationship issues like a divorce or the loss of a loved one.

The question is obvious. Does God really care about our personal hurricanes and flash floods? After all, the waters are choppy and the skies are dark and threatening.

Under such gloomy circumstances, let's remember that we worship a God who's much greater than any natural disaster, economic difficulty or international dispute. Ours is a God who literally spoke the universe into creation, formed great mountain ranges with His hands and parted the seas with a breath. And with just a word, he calmed the choppy waters of Lake Galilee that had threatened to drown his small band of followers.

"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" asks the writer of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.

Let's take God at His Word when He tells us that through life's turmoil, He works for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose. But let's also keep in mind that we're not exempt from personal storms once we turn our lives over to Jesus and become Christ-followers. What does change is that we gain access to a Power that helps us endure any difficulty--trivial or immense. Likewise, we also become beneficiaries of an eternal inheritance that will make our current troubles fade into oblivion. The storms that seem so great today will become laughably insignificant tomorrow.

Now consider one of the Old Testament's most famous passages to help us put our troubles and concerns into much-needed perspective:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

In one form or another, the storms of life surround every one of us. The lightning flashes and the thunder rumbles. But as Christ-followers, there's no reason to be afraid. Blue skies are on the horizon.

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