Christian Living

When life is overwhelming…

despair

Do you feel it?

Anger.

Apathy.

Angst.

The trio of trouble.

Anger abounds, fueled by perceived injustice, the prosperity of the ‘other,’ and the erosion of our foundations.

Apathy ambles about, numbing us to the downward slide, willing us to be indifferent to covetousness, deceit, and injustice.

Angst lives in the very air; we unwittingly inhale it’s noxious fumes and it’s effect spreads cancerously into every pore of our being.

Election years are always tumultuous here in the states, but the last four presidential elections have been particularly pernicious. One side foretells utter doom if the other side wins. One side threatens to abandon the country if so-and-so is elected (aaaand they never do). This house is divided, and if we don’t start getting our act together, it’s going to fall. Fear pervades every citizen.

Anger, Apathy, Angst—all are present for the show.

Do you feel these things?

Are we as Christians supposed sequester ourselves in a “joyful” bubble—unaffected and unaware?

I submit to you that even though the joy of the Lord sustains us, even though we know the world is not our home, we are keenly aware of the gathering gloom. It hangs heavily upon us and we are not immune to it’s influence. Temporal though it may be, we are living in this world and cannot isolate ourselves from the tumult around us.

What are we to do when the very fabric of our lives threatens to unravel?

Many who sit in the ivory towers of education negate the value of the Bible as an outdated tome of mythology. Professing to be wise, they have become great fools. The contemptuous treatment of ancient truths threatens to be our downfall.

To us who believe in the Lord, His words are the breath of life. A keen student of the word can observe patterns of human behavior, the consequences of pride, and the faithfulness of God. We find security in the wisdom an consistency of God. The words of the Bible may be ancient, but it’s truths are timeless.

No matter how we feel, nor how desperate the situation, the Lord will always be in command. While the world around us wears itself out with worry, we can rest in God.

Get down, look up, and zero in.

Get down.

Get down on your knees and pray. 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

~ Philippians 4.6-7, ESV

Get down into the word of God so that you will know His promises.

  • He promises to be with us. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13.5-6)
  • He promises to give us peace. (see above)

  • He promises to save us. (Mark 16.16)

  • He promises to return. (2 Peter 3)

 

Get some rest.

Find a quiet spot and let your mind have some peace. Don’t overbook yourself and live life in a frenzy. Make some time for quiet.

Look up.

I am as guilty of this as most people. I look at my screen way too much. I need to look up more and see the world and the people around me. The emails and messages on my phone are important, and require my attention, but I also need to address the emotional needs of my neighbors, my friends, my spouse and my children.

The concerns of the world are like those emails, phone calls, and text messages. They have to be addressed, but they should not consume us. We need to look up and into the eyes of the God who loves us. Only he can give us the peace we so desperately crave.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

~ Colossians 3.1-2, ESV

Zero in.

A rifle has to be zeroed-in before a hunt so the hunter can be sure of his aim when he shoots. In the same way, we need to spend time getting our mind zeroed in on God. Find a quiet place, shut off the distractions, and make a mental tally of what you are thankful for.  Commit the promises of God to your heart so that when all else crumbles you will still be standing on the foundation of God’s promises which cannot be shaken.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

~ Philippians 4.8-9, ESV

 Are Anger, Apathy, and Angst hanging out with you today?

Get down, look up and zero in.

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13 thoughts on “When life is overwhelming…

  1. Ahh, what a refreshing post! There really is a lot of anger and fear in the world right now. I keep remembering that perfect love casts out fear. Fear and faith are opposites of one another, so sometimes yes, we need to be in a bubble, but I call it God’s hedge of protection. One way or another all will be well, especially when we keep our eyes on Him.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well said, IB.

      I have always loved the concept of God’s hedge of protection. I unwittingly take for granted all the ways in which he had guarded me, but I can usually see His hand in all of it when I look back. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s so comforting to know God is in control. He allows His children to use their free agency here on earth, but He knows all. And something that helps me this election year is knowing He has used bad as well as good people to His end.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. In all the unrest, God is here. He promised us he would never leave us or forsake us…

    Your post is spot on. This world will change when we, who are called by God, will humble ourselves and seek His face. He is the big picture!

    Be mindful of our moments, slow our thoughts and find God in the ordinary. He is here, in our midst!

    I pray that more and more believers in this day and age will fall head over heels in love with God and all things eternal…like the old hymn says

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus
    Look full in His wonderful face
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of His glory and grace!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Isn’t that so true? “Everything grows dim in the light of His glory and grace.” I have found myself off-center lately, meaning my focus hasn’t been centered on God. Whenever that happens, life seems like too much to handle. Little things become big things and I am overwhelmed. As soon as I fix my eyes back on the Lord, these things fall back into their proper place.

      Liked by 1 person

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