Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Living in Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt

Over the course of many years, I have talked with individuals who have shared their fears, uncertainties and doubts with me. Some feared that they would lose their jobs due to downsizing or that the companies that they worked for would soon go out of business. Others were uncertain of the results of medical tests and did not know what they would do next. Some doubted their own abilities and talents.

In every case, each group felt that they were completely and totally unable to do anything to change things for the better. Each asked me to tell them that things would get better. I looked at them all in the eyes and said, without flinching, “I cannot tell you that things will get better for you. I can’t even tell you that they will get any better for me.”

We all want to be reassured that life will get better and that the bad things we face will soon give way to joy and peace in our lives. If there is one thing that we could have in our lives, I believe that everyone wants peace. No one wants to live in fear of what could happen tomorrow or even what could happen in the next minute. Unfortunately, we do not have that guarantee. We really do not know what life holds for us at any given moment. Within just a matter of seconds, our lives can change for better or for worse. 

Each day we either read, hear about or, worse yet, witness a tragic or near tragic event. We see people injured in car accidents almost daily. As I drive to work, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see a car accident. Some days I see more than one. Some are minor while others require police, fire or emergency personnel. I am sure that not one of the people involved in those accidents woke up saying, “Today, I think I will be involved in an accident.”

Somehow, we put those fears aside and venture out of our homes with no fear or thought about an accident. But, other things cause us to think twice. No matter how big or how small that bitter moment is, we all experience them and our degrees of fear, uncertainty and doubt are either greater or lower.

In Proverbs 27, it tells us, “1 Don't brag about tomorrow, since you don't know what the day will bring.

Since we don’t know what tomorrow or, for that matter, the next moment might bring, we should not brag or even think about tomorrow. We may have plans, but one bitter moment could change them. In just a blink of an eye, our lives could come down crashing around us. When that moment does come, we feel powerless and defeated. We all ask the same question, “Why me and why now?”

Jesus, in his sermon to the masses, said in Matthew 6, “33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

There is nothing we can do about tomorrow or the next moment. It will happen as it happens. No amount of worrying or rubbing a rabbit’s foot will stop what will happen next in our lives. The events that happen just happen. Nothing can change it. Life happens and we need to learn to live through those bitter moments. 

Jesus does give us the secret in dealing with those bad moments. He told us that we need to seek the Kingdom of God above all else and to live a righteous life. It is simple. The things of this world are the things of this world. When Adam and Eve made their choice and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they received the consequences of that choice. They were cast out of the garden to live a life filled with not only toil and hardship but also a life of fear, uncertainty and doubt.

But, the story doesn’t end there. Each and every one of us was given another choice to make. This choice would give us the peace of God. Paul writes in chapter 4 of his letter to the Philippians, “7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

When we choose to accept the salvation offered by our Heavenly Father through His Son, Christ Jesus, we can have that peace that guards our hearts and minds. It is through Jesus’ selfless act of sacrificing himself for us that we are able to have a life beyond this one and know that no matter what happens one month, day or hour from now that we will live with the saints in glory with the Father.

But, there are times when we, even after accepting the gift of grace from our Father, slip back into the fear of this world. It is at those moments that we need to remember the words of Jesus and the apostles. We need to always remember the meaning of God’s grace. 

Jesus, in John 16, gives not only his disciples these words but he also gives us the same words, “33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

Because of what he did and his love for us, we can truly take heart and know that we have nothing to fear as long as we realize that we have peace in him. Jesus not only overcame the world but he also overcame death. He cleared our slates of sinful debt and gave us the undeserved grace of the Father. It is through him and him alone that we are able to face tomorrow and know that we have a life beyond this one where, as written in Revelation 21, “4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

In the words of that most beautiful hymn, “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder,” “When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more, and the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair; when the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore, and the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there.”

Can you sing that song today and know that when the roll is called that your name will be written in the book of life? Can you live each moment fully trusting in His grace? If you find yourself wondering about the next moment, if you are consumed with fear, uncertainty and doubt about the next moment of your life, you need to find that peace that surpasses all understanding. That peace will guard your heart and mind from the tortures of this sinful world. Don’t hesitate another moment by not taking that step and putting your hand into his hand and accepting Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord. Don’t tarry a moment longer.

When you take that first step along the path of righteousness, you will have a blessed walk. You can face tomorrow knowing that Jesus lives and that, because of him, you are able to face whatever tomorrow brings. Jesus, in John 14, tells us, “27 I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Don’t live another moment in fear, uncertainty and doubt. Live in Christ and know that no matter what life presents you with that you can stand firm in His grace. 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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