Some days in the middle of our messy lives, we feel utterly and unbearably weighed down, crushed, overwhelmed - maybe right now in the middle of this pandemic. But God, in his goodness and grace, stands ready to rescue us, to give us victory.
How do we see a victory in the middle of the mess?
Second Corinthians 1:8-10 says this: “We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And, he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.” NLT
I think it takes that moment when we realize IT is out of our control (whatever our IT may be)...or maybe we are at the point where we feel like IT is literally going to kill us, push us over the edge...and, that we instead must fully rely on God. There is an end to ourselves, our ability, our resources, our strength… but, there is no end to God’s.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-9. NIV
We must SWITCH our dependence from ourselves to God.
We can rely on His power and strength.
Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have perfect peace and confidence. In the world, you will have trouble – tribulation and trials and distress and frustrations; but, be of good cheer (take courage, be confident, certain, undaunted). For I have OVERCOME the world. (I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you).” John 16:33 AMPC
What does this confidence in Jesus look like? It means to set our hope, our joyful expectation, our faith in Him. We begin to look at our messy days like this: “In this world, we will have ______________.” Fill in the blank with your IT - whatever your trouble, tribulation, trial, distress or frustration may be. Then claim this: “But, Jesus has already OVERCOME _____________.”
We must SET our hope on Him instead of the world.
We can rely on His peace.
William James, the father of American Psychology, said “The greatest weapon against stress is to choose one thought over another.” I don’t know if he was a Christian or not. However, scripture speaks to the same thing.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 NIV
When we begin to take our thoughts captive, we can speak the truth of God’’s word over our mess. We can fight the lies of the enemy, the lies of the world, and even the lies we tell ourselves.
We must SWAP our thoughts for His truth.
We can rely on His promises.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than CONQUERORS through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-35, 37-39 NIV
We have to shift “our focus from the problem to His Presence”. (Jesus Calling) His Presence is always present. We can trust that He will never leave us.
We must SHIFT our focus from the problem to His presence.
We can rely on His abiding love.
Whether in our small frustrations or our painful trials, Jesus said that in Him we can have peace. He knows the end of the story. He knows how this day will turn out...and even 2020, too! He gives us power and strength to carry us through. He knows how He will work all things together for good. Nothing can separate us from his love. We can believe and trust in Him and His promises.
SWITCH. SET. SWAP. SHIFT.
Then, we will see a victory, for He has overcome the world.