As I’ve written over the past several days, there are a lot of events going on right now which leave people wondering, ‘What is going on?’
We usually answer that question by pondering one of these…
- Are these all mere coincidences?
- Are they all caused by man, and therefore solved only by man? or
- Is God trying to get our attention–either by sending these calamities, or by removing His protection and ‘allowing’ them?
It will be no surprise to you that I think that the third answer is the ‘correct’ one, and I invite you to read the last few blogs to find out why.
But that leaves us with a question, ‘How are we to respond?’
The immediate personal response is what I wrote about in the last couple of days…but what are we to do, moving forward?
Whether these tumultuous events continue, or whether we go into a period of relative calm, how are we to ‘Move On’?
I believe that the best way to respond is in WORSHIP.
That’s right–worship–‘to revere, respect or admire a ‘divine being’; to devote oneself to something or someone’.
I believe that the only appropriate response to all this is to worship the Lord more fully and completely.
‘How’, you might ask, ‘does that change anything or help with any of these calamities’?
First, to really ‘worship’ the Lord means embracing the calling to take our focus off of our trials and tribulations, and lift our eyes above them–to the One eternal God.
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.”
It means we need to keep things in perspective.
Our trials–overwhelming and painful as they may seem–are temporary. Even if they last us for the rest of our lives, that is ‘temporary’. Eternity is longer!
Obviously, this requires faith…it takes faith to believe in eternity…life after death…a God who is ‘above it all’.
It also takes trust–Trust in that God, who is wise (wiser than we are), who is loving (therefore, is working for our good and His glory…no matter what), and a God who is powerful enough to use all of this world’s circumstances and to ‘redeem’ them, using them for His eternal purposes.
That’s what we’re assured of in Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
What is His purpose? His glory and our eternal good.
We have to remember–by faith–that He is using every circumstance–Hurricane, Typhoon, Earthquake, Drought, Wildfire, Mudslide, Sunspot–everything we’d call ‘natural disaster’–for His purposes.
We also have to remember–by faith–that He is using every trial–at work, in our marriage, with our money, in our health–every thing we think of as a ‘personal trial’–for His purposes.
..and this requires that we trust His purposes.
This is where many people go wrong…and it’s due to their ‘spiritual eyesight’.
Many people look at their circumstances in the foreground, with God behind those circumstances in the background, partially obstructed by those very circumstances. They wonder, naturally, why God seems small and powerless compared to those circumstances.
I believe that faith–transformative, Spirit-empowered faith–enables us to look at God in the foreground, so that our circumstances are in the background, seen through the grid of our faith and trust in Him.
When we do that, then we can trust Him over the circumstances.
That’s why the Apostle Paul would go on to write,
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,
“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
That is why, I believe that the BEST response–with all that in mind–is to worship.
Take my focus off of myself, off of my circumstances, and off of my temporary situation…and focus instead on the One True God, who is eternal, immortal, wise, loving, powerful, kind, and good.
As I do that, I then find the strength–by faith–with the correct perspective, to then deal more fully with the current reality–whether that be rebuilding my home or rebuilding my marriage, overcoming tragedy or overcoming trial.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18:
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Worship the Lord! Keep your eyes on Him, and gain strength to overcome!