Thursday, February 13, 2014

Be still . . . and know, Part IV

This week we have taken a break from our studies in the gospel of John to focus on some of the characteristics of God, and praise Him for those. Today we will conclude our study and praise time. (Though we should never really finish praising Him, right?)

Since I am related to a person who can "program" computers (and by that I mean that the person can write the software code to make a computer accomplish certain desired tasks), the word "reprogram" is an easy one to explain. I am not talking about the term "brainwashing" but about training and disciplining our minds to react in a way that glorifies God.
We can praise Him that He can help us reprogram our minds so that we do not react with fear, anger or panic when adversity rears its head. Our hearts can be set securely on the Lord, and we can be confident knowing that He will fight the battles for us. Just as a programmer changes a line here and a line there in the software code, we can change the way that we think about our circumstances, and we can memorize Bible verses that will assist us when trouble comes.
Verses like these:

If God is for us who can be against us. (Rom. 8:31)

We can be reassured that we don't have to be overcome by the troubles:

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21)

And we can discipline our minds and our emotions by remembering His promises:

He who spared not Hs own Son but delivered Him up for us all will He not freely give us all things. (Rom 8:32) 

By reprogramming our hearts and minds, we will avoid the panic that can come when trouble pops up; we will be able to praise God instead of shaking in our boots; and then we can give Him praise when He shows Himself to be greater than any problem, person, or situation that upsets us.

We also should be eager to praise God as a resource provider -- He has limitless resources available to win every good fight that we need to fight. Remember this verse in Matthew?
Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:53)
Many people are apprehensive about moving forward until they believe that they have all of the necessary resources in place, but we can trust God to provide all we need according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19) Our awesome God not only controls all things, but He owns everything! He can provide all that we need, whether it is material goods or comfort and confidence!

We can also praise God that He is a rebuilder. Whether we are talking about a church that is fractured by conflict among its members, or a life that needs the healing touch of Jesus to shake off addiction, depression, bereavement or failure. It is His desire that His name will be known throughout the entire earth, and that all should come to Him and enjoy a loving and peaceful relationship.
God's power is sufficient to break those shackles, and give victory to His people. It is not important for us to feel like we can do it. In fact, Satan would love for us to do one of two things . . . either to be puffed up and feel we can do it on our own, or to be a puddle of misery, thinking that we can never do anything, because we are a lost cause even for God.

Nothing could be further from the truth! He is able! Whether we are standing in a still and snowy pasture or beside the crashing waves of the sea . . .
And these are but the outer fringe of his works;
    how faint the whisper we hear of him!
    Who then can understand the thunder of his power? (Job 26:14)
It is he who made the earth by his power,
who established the world by his wisdom,
and by his understanding stretched out the heavens. (Jeremiah 10:12)

The awesome Creator is the same God who wants to love, comfort, and provide for us. To keep us safe under His wings (Matthew 23:37) )
This illustration says what I'm trying to convey:

A little boy was eagerly looking forward to the birthday party of a friend who lived only a few blocks away. When the day finally arrived, a blizzard made the sidewalks and roads nearly impassable. The lad’s father, sensing the danger, hesitated to let his son go. The youngster reacted tearfully. "But Dad," he pleaded, "all the other kids will be there. Their parents are letting them go." The father thought for a moment, then replied softly, "All right, you may go." Surprised but overjoyed, the boy bundled up and plunged into the raging storm. The driving snow made visibility almost impossible, and it took him more than half an hour to trudge the short distance to the party. As he rang the doorbell, he turned briefly to look out into the storm. His eye caught the shadow of a retreating figure. It was his father. He had followed his son’s every step to make sure he arrived safely.  (Courtesy of a sermon from Paul Fritz on Sermon Central)

That earthly father gives us a picture of our heavenly Father and His love. Let's praise Him!


Belinda said...

How can we not praise Him in light of all He is, all He does, and all He will do?!!

The training is so important because it's really hard to remember He is in control, in the midst of crisis.

Cathy said...

I have a terrible time with fear... the fear of something happening to one of my family. I know in my heart and in my head that God is able to keep them safe. But then this little voice speaks up and asks " but what if this is the time the Lord decided to take them home?". I also know that the Lord would provide strength should that happen, but still, the fear and sometimes even panic prevails.