From the Pastor
Pastor Mike Burns
903.567.2072 (Ext. 3002)
Calm is an interesting word that is known more for what it is not: agitation, fear, or turbulence. But “calm” does require some kind of storm, or we would never notice it. The weather world gave us the word in the first place. It means wind that is moving one mile per hour or less. The Beaufort scale (a meteorological measurement) has “calm” at one end of the scale and “hurricane” at the other. Extreme opposites.
Take a moment and evaluate your own life. As you attempt to move through these chaotic days, where would the Beaufort scale register the winds of your soul?
Some people believe that when they accept Christ, they will receive a “get out of stress free” card and live a life of uninterrupted bliss. To be honest, when I became a believer, I picked up a few new problems I hadn’t had before. Jesus never offered a false promise. At every point, he warned us that troubles would follow our path and that obedience to Him would actually increase our persecution. But he is also the one who said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Jesus Himself felt pressure. He was distressed as He watched Mary weep over the death of her brother Lazarus. He “groaned in the spirit and was troubled” (John 11:33). As He contemplated the cross, He felt genuine anxiety (John 12:27). As He waited for Judas to betray Him, He was troubled (John 13:21). He is a high priest who can “sympathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrew 4:15).
As the death of our Lord Jesus nears, His disciples begin to be anxious about their life situation, and Jesus comforts them with these words:
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know." 5 Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?" 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:1-6)
We need to return to these passages whenever we are besieged by worry. Remember, Jesus didn’t say these words as He stood beside a Galilean stream on a sunny day without a care in the world. NO… He said them as He stood near the jaws of hell itself. He didn’t speak from the all-protective shelter of His Fathers’ arms. He sat with His frightened disciples in the upper room, preparing for the worst of humanity and the silence of heaven. His words were, “let not your heart be troubled.”
It encourages me to realize that He faced what He did, felt the worst of what we would feel, and still drew enough strength to comfort others. Our Lord’s words of encouragement to His close friends (that’s you and me too!), were preserved by the apostle John, so that they are available to give comfort to us as well. Jesus gave His disciples (us too!) some things to believe, things to hold onto. He asked them (and us!) to put their trust in Him and His promises.
So… Stay Calm and Live Strong.
Published on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 @ 1:05 PM CDT