Through Our Father’s Eyes

Beginning this month I am starting a new pattern for this blog.  Monday through Friday will be themed posts covering topics like relationships, singleness, flirtation, modesty, and other issues, Saturday will be movie and/or book reviews, and Sunday will be a sermon review based on what my pastor talked about that morning.  Since it is Sunday — the first one of the year — I will be giving my readers the first sermon review. 

Being human, we often look at the world through our own biased lens.  We see things colored by our circumstances and perceptions, our backgrounds and histories, our pains and our joys.  Too few times do we stop to think if these perceptions are right and true; if they are in line with God’s word or even with the actual facts.  Sometimes the fiction appeals more than the truth. 

Everywhere you look, in your own life and outside it, there are problems with the world.  There is death and destruction, whirlwinds and war, hurricanes and hatred, bitterness and bloodshed… concentrating on these things can be depressing.  For those in a lost world, it is.  For those in the lost world, depression and despair are well known.  There is no hope.  Yet those of us that have Christ have hope — we have a hope that transcends circumstance. 

Are we as Christians giving this world our hope, or are we hiding it under a bushel as we join in the moanings of those who see nothing but the evil of society?  We have a choice — to perceive our world as negative, focusing only on the evil, or to remember the hope that lies within us.  Do we share that hope?  We should.

In 2 Kings, the prophet Elisha was being sought by the Syrians.  The Syrian army surrounded the town of Dothan to capture and kill the prophet.  In the middle of the night, hundreds of chariots encircled the little city, and as morning dawned, Elisha’s servant beheld what seemed to be an impossible situation: “Alas, my master, what shall we do?” (2 Kings 6:15).  Elisha replied, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those that are with them.”

Do not be afraid?  That’s our first instinct — but in every situation that confronts us God calls out for us to trust Him and dispels the fear from our hearts.  When the angel came to Mary his first words were, ‘Do not be afraid.’  When the host of holy ones met the shepherds of Bethlehem, they announced, ‘Do not be afraid.’  “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”  (2 Timothy 1:7)

When we decide that our circumstances or situations are insurmountable we are limiting God.  By limiting God we lack faith in Him.  We must choose to believe what He has said He will do, and that He is who He says He is.  We must also surrender the attitudes that we have taken upon ourselves that keep us from believing Him — attitudes of pride, self-righteousness, and insecurity — and take hold of the promise that He has extended to us…

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  (Isaiah 41:10)

I forgot to tell the rest of Elisha’s story.  After he admonished his servant to take courage, Elisha prayed that the servant’s eyes would be opened to see what God was doing on behalf of his people.  As the servant looked again at the surrounded city, he saw fiery chariots and horses by the thousands, ready to protect only one prophet of God and his trembling companion. 

Fear not… He is with you.

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