Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Fear Not Tomorrow!

Dear Friends,

When I worked in Glendale I took my Tahoe to a small family-owned place that just did oil changes and routine servicing on vehicles. There was no rack that lifted up the vehicle and instead, you drove your car over a long narrow concrete pit. A mechanic worked in the pit draining the oil, tightening and lubricating things while two other mechanics worked on your car at ground level. The first time I used this place, as I stopped over the pit and got out of my car, I heard a deep voice with an Armenian accent booming out from below, “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.” I laughed and said, “You know your Bible!” He had seen my license place HEBW 138 and knew the scripture. The disembodied voice and I had a conversation and we found that for both of us it was one of our favorite verses. For years I had my car serviced there, and every time I stopped over the pit, the employees, customers and passersby on the sidewalk heard the thundering deep voice echoing from below, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever!” 

We’ve just come out of a stressful, tiring year highlighted with Covid, masks, lost jobs, diminishing incomes, lock-downs, crime, riots, politics, and a “woke” progressive culture which determined in 2021 that all White people are racists and white supremacists. Politicians and the media predicted just a few weeks ago that we are in a “winter of severe illness and death” and that the expected result of the 2022 elections will end democracy in America as we know it! With this doom and gloom, it’s no surprise that last month the CDC reported a significant increase of mental health issues (anxiety and depression) in our Nation. We are overwhelmed with negative news; and worse, some of us this past year have suffered severe illness and the illness and deaths of loved ones. But if 2021 was a bleak year for you, know that this year is a year of new beginnings and God’s light will shine in the darkness! John 1:5 

If we find ourselves dragging our anxieties and fears along with us as we step from 2021 into 2022, we need to grab on to Hebrews 13:8 and hold on tight. The only guarantees we will have in 2022 is that things will change. Nothing ever stays the same. Things in our Nation will become better or worse depending on your perspective from where you sit in the red pews or the blue pews. Things in your personal life will change. 365 days from now, you will not be the exact same person physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Growth and loss. Things a little different a year later. 

We change, circumstances change, the world changes. But there is someOne who is immutable and unchanging and He’s the One in whom we put our trust. He does not and cannot change. He truly is exactly the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus Christ has been by your side from the moment you took your first breath, He is with you right now, and He will be with you, not just tomorrow, but for all eternity.

Ten years ago I came across an obscure worship song that I taught to my church. Called FEAR NOT TOMORROW it was written by a worship leader in a church which released it on an album of their own music and the chorus goes: “Fear not tomorrow, God is already there...” Isn’t it funny how just a few words of God’s truth can change your whole perspective on something? Somewhat ironically, we can become overwhelmed with gratitude when we look back at our life to see that God has brought us through all the worst things that have ever happened to us, and yet we don’t trust Him to bring us through our tomorrows. And, have you noticed how it’s never our past that scares us, it’s always our future? It’s never the known of our yesterday that weakens our knees, it’s always the uncertainty of tomorrow. And your uncertainty about the changes that life will bring becomes a fear of your future when you have no trust that your timeless God is already sitting there in your tomorrow and waiting for you.

There’s a story of the night that a house caught fire and a young boy escaped the flames by crawling out of his second-story bedroom window and onto the roof. The rest of the family had already escaped through the front door, and now the father was on the front lawn calling to his son to jump off the roof and into his arms. The boy was terrified. With the swirling smoke and the darkness of the night, he was unable to see past the edge of the roof. “Jump!” yelled the father. “I can’t!” screamed the boy, “I can’t see you!!” The father replied, “I know son, but I can see you and that’s all that matters.” And the boy jumped safely into his father’s arms.

Even when we can’t see God in our circumstances, we know and trust that He’s there and when the darkness of fear swirls around us, our faith is what reveals the unseen presence of God. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 So let us jump into the uncertainties of 2022 with faith knowing that God is already waiting for us with open arms. AMEN?

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