Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Up to the Almighty

I would like to tell you a story that is repeated all across the world. A man is wheeled into an emergency room with his family closely behind. Emergency medical technicians are racing to get the man into an emergency room bay. Doctors, nurses and medical technicians begin to stream into the bay as the EMTs move the man from the gurney to the medical table. Medical monitoring devices are quickly attached to the man as everyone works to save this man’s life. As I relate this story to you, I know that some have been in the exact situation and know what it is like. The tension is heavy and the fears are real. More and more technicians and medical personnel flood the small emergency room bay in a desperate attempt to ward off death. Sweat begins to bead up on the forehead of the doctor as he uses all of his skills and experience to do what he has sworn to do when he took his Hippocratic Oath -  preserve life.

If the physician is a Christian, he is, deep inside of himself, praying for guidance and calling upon the greatest of all healers, God. In the Hebrew, He is called “Jehovah-Rapha” and that very name translates as the God who heals. This name only appears once in the Bible, but that name of God is so very special because it tells of a God who cares so much for His children that He has the power to heal them.

After the physician has done everything he can humanly do and has either stabilized the man or sent him on to surgery, he visits with the family to let them know what has happened and what the next steps are going to be. He sees a family whose lives are shaken. Some are in tears while others are in prayer. They are holding on to each other and looking for comfort. The physician tells them something that should give them immediate comfort, “I have done all I can do. It is now up to the Almighty.”

This story happens all the time. Sometimes it is not physical life and death. Sometimes it is emotional, spiritual or material life and death. We all struggle with things in our lives that seem like there is no way out of them. Like the doctor, we muster our skills and past experiences to help us work through the problems. But, in the end, we can only do so much. We, like the doctor, must realize that it is not always up to us, but it is up to the Almighty.

When you read through the Bible and read about God, you quickly begin to see God as truly the provider, peacemaker, sanctifier and, most importantly, the one who is always there. He is not only the God who heals but He is also the God who is there, Jehovah-Shammah. He is always there for us in times of joy, strife and trouble. Because of His son’s love and sacrifice for us, we are able to go to the Father in prayer. In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” It is through him and him alone that we are able to go directly to God in prayer. We have unfettered access to Him and lift up our prayers of supplication to Him.

Since we are His children, we know that He hears our prayers and will provide us what we need most in those moments of trouble. Let us look at  Psalm 145 and see what David had to say about God. Starting with verse 18 and going through verse 20, David sings these words, “The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. 19He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them. 20 The LORD protects all those who love him, but he destroys the wicked.

As His children, we must love Him and let Him be the center of our lives. When God is the center of our lives, we realize that we can only do so much. God must reign supreme in our lives and as His children, we are able to say, “It is up the Almighty.” When we are able to do that in our times of weakness, we can rest assured that God will provide what we truly need. We may not always get our desires fulfilled. Things may even seem to get worse, but we must continue to remain faithful to God and know that He has our best interests clearly in mind. Let us look at what Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12. Starting with verse 9 and reading to verse 10, Paul tells us, “Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

By leaving things up to God, we admit to God and to ourselves that we are weak. We are humbled by His power and the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for our sins. When we place our cares into His hands, we know that His grace is total and sufficient to meet our needs. Until we are able to do this, we will never know peace. We will continue to wring our hands and pace the floors night after night. We will worry ourselves literally to death by holding on to our problems rather than holding tightly to the everlasting arms of our Father. In the end, we must, as some say, “Let go and let God.”

We must remember the words of Deuteronomy 20:4, “For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!” It is He who will give us victory over all the troubles of this world. He will be there when we need Him most. By leaving things up to the Almighty, we know we can stand firm in His grace.

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