Sunday, April 3, 2022

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - The One Thing that Matters Most

There are so many things going on in the world at this moment. War, disease, famine and a whole lot of things are filling our minds and hearts with fear. It is so very easy to get caught up in those things. When you go shopping for food, you see bare shelves throughout the store. You go to the gas station to fill up and you see the price of gasoline creeping up everyday. This is if, of course, that you are able to shop or even own a car. For those who are fortunate enough, all of these are inconveniences. For those who can’t afford food or own a car, it is even more painful to deal with. Just the other day, I saw a news article talking about yet another COVID-19 variant.

With all of this going on in the world, it is easy for Christians to wonder why has God forsaken us. Nonbelievers ask Christians the same old question about the existence of our God. Our minds and hearts become clouded and there are times when Christians let doubt and uncertainty silently creep into our relationship with the Father.

We become wrapped up in the world and all of the dreadful things that go on in it. Our minds are filled with thoughts of doom. Every day seems to be something new to worry about. Just a little over two years ago, we didn’t even know about COVID-19 or its existence. I can probably say with almost certainty that everyone on the planet knows what it is and that it will plague our species for decades to come.

The Greeks tried to explain the origin of the miseries that we face. The story of Pandora’s Box was created. In the ancient Greek myth, it was actually a jar that was given to Pandora on her wedding day by Zeus. He told her never to open the jar or box, but he knew that she would be curious about the contents of the container. Pandora, who was created to be curious, couldn’t stay away from the box and the urge to open the box overcame her. Horrible things flew out of the box including greed, envy, hatred, pain, disease, hunger, poverty, war, and death. All of life’s miseries had been let out into the world. Pandora slammed the lid of the box back down. The last thing remaining inside of the box was hope. Ever since, humans have been able to hold onto this hope in order to survive the wickedness that Pandora had let out.

As Christians, we, too, hold on to hope. It is the gift that God has given us. It is hope that gets us from one moment to the next. It is that one thing that we can hold on to when everything seems to be crashing down around us. That hope came in the form of Jesus. He is our anchor during the times of storm and strife. He is there holding our hands as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. It is that hope that keeps us on the path of righteousness.

One of the minor prophets summed up this hope very eloquently. At the start of his prayer, Habakkuk talks about God’s anger and all that He can do. Nations are trampled under His foot and the heads of the wicked are crushed. But, when you read the end of his prayer, there is hope.

In chapter three of the book written by the minor prophet, Habakkuk writes, “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.

It doesn’t matter what happens in life or what misery we face daily. The only thing that really matters is that we have been given the gift of salvation through our Savior and Lord, Jesus. Nothing that we face can take that away. Malady and misery have no hold on us. Even death has lost its power over us. It is that gift of salvation that we have that gives us hope daily.

If you don’t have that hope and live in fear, uncertainty and doubt daily, I urge you to open your heart and receive the hope of Jesus and the gift of salvation from Father God. He knew you before you existed and watched over you as you were knitted together in your mother’s womb. God was there and will continue to be there. Don’t delay in accepting that wonderful gift of salvation. All it takes is a simple prayer of admitting that you have been disobedient and accepting Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord.

Once you do that, you have taken the first step in your daily walk with the Lord. Time is precious  and it is also fleeting. Don’t delay your decision to accept His gift.

When you walk in light each day, Jesus will show you the way and be your example as you walk in the newness of life. Instead of creeping along in fear with your head down, you can walk with certainty and know that God the Father is there for you and will watch over you. You are His child and nothing can snatch you away from Him. You have hope and salvation. As you continue your steps, you will strengthen your faith and know that you can stand firm in His grace.

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

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