These testing times will overwhelm us if we listen to human words (the media, politicians, ourselves) more than God’s Word. Human words leave us:
I want to help you live with clarity instead of confusion, joy instead of depression, calm instead of terror, and action instead of paralysis. To do that, we need to prioritize God’s Word over human words.
That’s why I’m going to be publishing a daily message from God’s Word starting tomorrow. It will be available on my blog, and eventually available as a daily podcast and a video too. I’m going to start with a series that walks us through the book of James as it is so appropriate for these times. It will be called, “Living Faith in Testing Times.” If you subscribe to my blog, you can get it emailed to you every day.
I want to introduce this series by giving you four reasons to prioritize God’s Word over human words.
1. GOD’S WORD GIVES CLARITY
What’s happening? What will happen? When will it end? The questions multiply but the answers don’t. There are many debatable answers. There are many questions we simply cannot answer. But there are three truths from God’s Word that are clear:
- God is judging our sins.
- God is calling us to repent.
- God will forgive and heal our land if we repent of our sins.
If you doubt that, read 2 Chronicles 7: 13-15.
Summary: Human words confuse, but God’s Word clarifies.
Question: But how do I stop sinking into depression in the meantime?
2. GOD’S WORD GIVES JOY
There’s a lot of sad news around and it will probably get worse. Many of our plans have been dashed. Many of us will lose money and even our jobs. We cannot deny the sadness and we don’t want to minimize it. But the Apostle Paul spoke of being “sorrowful yet always rejoicing” (2 Cor. 6:10). The Christian can add joy to sorrow and balance it out, if we keep our focus on truths that never change. For example, as we study James together, we’ll experience:
- The joy of God’s constant love.
- The joy of God’s constant care.
Summary: Human words cast us down, but God’s Word lifts us up.
Question: But how do I stop stressing?
3. GOD’S WORD GIVES CALM
We’ve never lived through such unstable and scary times. It’s unprecedented and unpredictable. We’re therefore tempted to fear and anxiety. But if we read God’s Word:
- We’re calm because God still reigns.
- We’re calm because of our heavenly hope is still secure.
Summary: Human words terrify, but God’s Word pacifies.
Question: But can I do anything?
4. GOD’S WORD CALLS TO ACTION
God’s Word clears our confusion, raises our spirits, and calms our hearts, but it also calls us to action. While we must heed the government’s advice regarding where we can go and how many people we can be with, as James’s letter highlights, there are still opportunities to serve God and our fellow men and women.
- We can evangelize the lost: This is a time to call family and friends to repentance and faith, to prepare for eternity. Why not use the “Living Faith in Testing Times” series to minister to your family? Gather them around your phone at a meal time and play the daily podcast.
- We can serve the needy: We can phone the old and vulnerable, we can help with their shopping and meds. We can provide for the multiplying poor. Why not send them this message to comfort their troubled hearts?
Summary: Human words paralyze, but God’s Word mobilizes.
Question: Do you see how much you need God’s Word?
CALL TO ACTION
Fill yourself with God’s Word to keep your faith alive in testing times.
CALL TO PRAYER
Sovereign Lord, you are testing us in an unprecedented way. We confess that we are in danger of being overwhelmed because we are listening to human words more than your Word.
When we listen to the media, politicians, and our own opinions, we get confused, depressed, scared, and paralyzed.
Great God of truth, your Word gives clarity, joy, calm, and motivation. Therefore help us to prioritize your Word over all human words.
We thank you for the example of Jesus who lived with perfect faith in the most testing of times. We stand in awe that by feeding on your Word he did his painful duty with clarity, joy, and calm.
Therefore, fill us with your Word to keep our faith alive in testing times. Amen.
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