Happy Fall! Can you believe it? Before you know it the leaves will be changing colors. Our lives go through seasons too, it seems. Sometimes it's kind of hard to figure out which season it is but what's important to realize is that the Lord is here with us and so if we really believe that, we should be able to rest, rejoice and reflect the beauty of Jesus.
Yes, this is what He is calling us to. If you are a child of God and Jesus Christ is your Savior you know that He has a plan for your life, that He is your source, that He has the whole world in His hands as the old song says. It's funny how much we need to be reminded constantly, isn't it?
I need a reminder myself so here it is: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, days the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Usually we just see this one on the bookmark or the bumper sticker. But let's read a little further.
Seek The Lord
Verse 12 continues: “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.” (Jeremiah 29:12-14) Meditate on these words!
My study Bible notes say that the phrase “bring you back from your captivity” means “restore the fortunes” that were lost when Israel went into captivity, referring to Deuteronomy 30:3-5 and in Jeremiah referring to when Judah went into captivity. I believe that as believers in the one true God who made heaven and earth and all that is in them and who sent His Son Jesus Christ to redeem all of mankind from their captivity to sin and death, that we can take this as a promise from God.
The World, the Flesh and the Devil
Whatever the world, the flesh and the devil have done to you in your life in your captivity to them without Christ, God, the Lord, has redeemed you, and you are called to live an abundant life (John 10:10) and be witnesses in this dark world that God is good, Jesus is Lord and you don't have to be destroyed by whatever demons (the world loves this term) you may have to deal with.
That's what many news writers said finally destroyed Robin Williams. Demons. While the world chooses to disbelieve in the actual existence of demons, demons continue to destroy lives while the world denies their existence, meanwhile simply using the term metaphorically. I find that astounding.
I happen to believe being saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:9) might have saved Robin Williams. All God asks is that we repent and believe. God offers something better than what the world, the flesh and the devil have to offer, and Christians need to be living proof of this. Please understand I am not saying Christians can't suffer from depression nor that being saved would "automatically" cure their condition. No matter what state we're in we need to continue calling on the Lord. But the commandment is to "love the LORD with all our heart, soul and strength." (Deuteronomy 6"5) I daresay in this we all fall short.
God is Good
We can trust God because He is a good God. Many people don't know that. In fact, in case you haven't noticed, hardly anybody seems to know that. But this is the God we believe in and know and trust and love and the one who has called us to go and make disciples.
So, whatever you're going through right now, God is calling you to Himself. He is the Great One, He is the Good One, but if you have repented of your sin and trusted in Jesus Christ to save you, then you are a child of God and have eternal life. Do we need another reminder of the most popular verse in the New Testament?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) These are not just words. “Should not perish” means we were perishing until He saved us. The world is perishing without letting Jesus Christ into their life, and you are placed wherever you are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, Jesus said.
Rest, Rejoice and Reflect the Beauty of Jesus
So, friends, please just trust the Lord and rest in Him. Look at Hebrews 4:1-2 for a minute. “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them, but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”
I know sometimes this is difficult for people with a Type A personality, or who are driven or accomplished, highly educated, qualified and multi-talented, You may be finding it hard to “fit” into the world, so some may just keep running around in circles until they run into a brick wall. That's because Christians are in this world but not “of” it, and the rulers of the darkness of this world (Ephesians 6:12) love to wear people out with stress and anxiety and worry, but I read this morning in Proverbs 12:25...
“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.” There it is. Anxiety causes depression. And what is a better word than the gospel of Jesus? He loves you so much He died so you would not have to face Him in the judgment and rose again to prove He was the Son of God and He wants to give you a new life. All you have to do is repent and believe. And if you've done that, keep seeking Him. We are all in this boat together. We are all sinners. But God Himself has provided a way of escape and a new start at life thrown in. There isn't a much better word than that.
So, rejoice always, Paul kept on saying, and again, I say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4) God is alive. Seek Him and find Him, pour out your heart before Him. He will take care of you. He will provide. He has so much in store for His children. And about the “rest” part, you might need to find some time just to spend in the Word and give Him a chance to minister to you. You'll be glad you did!
This article will also appear in the September newsletter of the Fellowship of Global Christian Job Seekers (globaljobseekers.org)