Sunday, March 28, 2010

Worry Not, Part 4--Paul

When Paul was imprisoned by the Romans, he wrote these words to the Philippian church:

"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus"
(Philippians 3:12-14).

Paul didn't worry about the past. He kept his eyes focused on the Lord. Instead of looking at his past or the difficult road he was headed down, he knew that the only way to deal with the present difficulties without stumbling was to keep focused on Christ. He says,

"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 suppresses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

What a wonderful promise! To have God's peace guarding my heart and mind; I can think of nothing better.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pray for Victoria

Please be praying for one of the littlest members of Casa De Amor, little Victoria. She is one of a set of triplets that arrived at the Baby Home only a little over a week ago. Victoria became very, very sick yesterday and is currently in the NICU in Cochabamba. Here is what Jennifer said yesterday:

"Today her health deteriorated very rapidly between the first signs of something wrong at 11am (fever, wouldn't finish milk) and 3pm - very pale, skipped feedings, diarrhea, vomiting, troubled breathing. By 4pm she was being intubated at the best clinic in town as three of us agonized outside the doors of the ER.... Now Victoria is in the NICU on a ventilator. I was finally able to go in and see her for just a few minutes at 9:30. By that point she was semi-conscious and stabilized, and pneumonia has been ruled out although they're running more tests. It appears to be some sort of gastro intestinal infection that threw her into such a tail spin so quickly today."

So please keep her and her tiny sisters in your prayers!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Worry Not, Part 3--David

The intoduction to Psalm 56 tells us that it was written, "When the Philistines seized him in Gath." This psalm was composed during on of the most turbulent times in David's life. He had every reason, according to human standards, to fear. Yet what is this psalm all about? Not fearing.

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust;
I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?
...This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose
word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?" (v. 3-4, 9-11).

Over and over David repeatedly tells himself that he trusts in the Lord, that man is nothing. You can hear his torment in this psalm; he is so burdened that he must keep reminding himself not to fear. Instead of allowing himself to worry, he speaks hope into his soul, trusting God for strength. This is what I must do as well when the storms rage. Often the only way to get through is to speak the truth to myself again and again. Sing songs of God's strength, pray constantly, get into the truth of God's Word--but do not fear!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Worry Not, Part 2--Hezekiah

I have been extremely neglectful of this blog lately! I wrote the rest of the parts to the "Worry Not" series over a month ago, but I haven't found the time to type them up and post them. Finally, though, here is the second part. Better late than never, right?

So rather than worry, what is a child of God supposed to do? Reading through the Scriptures, I have seen a lot of examples lately of men who had every "right" to worry, but chose instead to trust in the Lord. The first example I'm going to give is King Hezekiah.

In 2 Kings 18-19, we are told how Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, attacked Judah, which was being ruled at this time by King Hezekiah. Hezekiah receives a message from some of his most trusted servants that Sennacherib was threatening Judah with total destruction. Rather than fear Sennacherib's enormous army, it says in 2 Kings 19:1, "As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the Lord." He prays to the Lord, and Isaiah the prophet sends him a message from the Lord reassuring him that Sennacherib will go back to Assyria without touching Judah.

However, we don't see Sennacherib turning back immediately. He comes back the next day, threatening again, this time even tempting Hezekiah to stop trusting in the Lord. He tells Hezekiah in a letter, "Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria."

Hezekiah, however, does not waver in his faith or worry about what will happen. Rather than worry, Hezekiah went and "spread it before the Lord" (v. 14), laying all his burdens at the Lord's feet.

God rewarded Hezekiah's faith by killing the entire Assyrian army. He tells Hezekiah, "...He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it....For I will defend this city to save it, for My own sake and the sake of My servant David." The Jews didn't even have to raise their hand against the Assyrians!

The Lord has constantly displayed this in my own life. How gracious He is to me, even when it comes to the smallest things I worry about! Over and over again, I will worry about something only to have Him gently remind me that He has it all under control. And suddenly, the problem will be taken care of--without my doing anything! What a loving God we serve, who provides for our every need!