Faith vs. Fear and Chaos

peace-be-still

I’m struggling lately y’all, and I can’t even explain why. My teeth are clenched, my neck and shoulders are tense, and I’m just out of sorts. It was a tough weekend here with Hurricane Matthew and with all the other stuff going on around me, I keep finding myself anxious and overwhelmed.

I’m reaching up and out to invite God to calm my spirit, but it’s tougher than I want it to be, because my focus keeps wandering from the One who calms my spirit to the chaos I see playing out in front of me.

Why is it so easy to forget where our help comes from, when we know the One who knows our name?

In the midst of our fear and desperation, we frantically look around trying to find something, anything, that will fix our specific brand of misery, and we get lost in the chaos, losing sight of who God is because we focus on everything but Him.

We surrender the spaces in our hearts and minds to our pain and our fear, and our faith is forced to the forgotten recesses.

It’s a miserable place to be, where my soul is worn and my heart cries for peace.

But in the moment I bring my focus back to the One who guards my soul, before I can utter a word, He hears my cry and His Truth whispers to my weary soul.

“Peace! Be still.”

And just like that, His Light invades the darkness, and my faith bursts forth from the recesses, driving out my fears.

What an amazing Jesus we serve.

Lord, thank you for hearing the cries of my heart, though they be silent. Thank you for Your Word that speaks life to my weary soul. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Unlovable Me

What if we really treated others like we want to be treated? What if we really loved them like we love ourselves?

I find myself heartbroken and frustrated over the divisions I see in so many relationships around me. We take the smallest things and make them into mountains no human can ever scale. Someone looks at us sideways, talks differently, dresses differently, or worships differently; and we jump at the opportunity to rip them to shreds with our poison tongues.

 

No wonder the world calls us hypocrites……we can’t even love on one another, let alone those outside our “Christian circle”

When we refuse to see beyond ourselves, we miss the opportunities God gives us to minister to and encourage one another. God tells us what He expects of us and His instruction is very clear:

“and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

Ya’ll….I am going to be very real with you. I am writing this because God has convicted me that I fall terribly short when it comes to loving others.

I try to love people, but have mercy, some people are just hard to love.

Of course when I started whining to God about how “I’m tired of trying to love on so and so” and “I don’t feel like loving on people today,” He showed me:

I am one of those hard to love people.

UGH. It’s true.

And you know what else God is showing me? He doesn’t command me to love people when I feel like it, or when they do things I approve of, or when they deserve it. The commandment to love others is not conditional.

Let’s not miss this.

God’s commandment to love others is not conditional.

It is not dependant on how we feel or whether someone deserves it.

It is dependent upon God and the love He has shown us and commanded us to show others.

Here is my challenge for us.

LOVE on someone you find difficult to love. Reconcile a relationship that you have allowed to falter. Encourage someone who needs encouragement. Pray for the people God has placed upon your heart today.

Be proof that God’s love is true and that His grace can really change a heart.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving each other whoever has a complaint against anyone, just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love which is the perfect bond of unity. Colossians 4:12-14

Father God, forgive us where we have placed ourselves and our opinions above Your truth. Help us to see people as you see them, let us see beyond the surface and minister to their hearts. God, help us to live lives that honor You. Help us to love like you love and where we have hardened our hearts, soften them and draw us closer to You. Use us as instruments of peace and do not allow us to be used for division. We love you, Lord, because You first loved us. Thank You for all that You have done and that which You have yet to do. In Christ’s name, Amen.