Faith Column: Is your soul troubled?
Several weeks ago, I had an interaction with someone that summed up this past year. I was speaking with someone who had just received the first installment of the COVID-19 vaccine. She shared how relieved she was and that she was enjoying talking to me and being in the same room and area with me as she talked. What struck me was her immense relief and her perceived release from fear. She was no longer afraid of this virus and therefore no longer afraid of people, no longer afraid of the normal routines of human existence. The instability of this past year has brought about levels of fear that most of us were unfamiliar with and sadly this fear seems to have no end in sight, despite the immense relief my acquaintance felt.
The social instability of this world has revealed what is really in the hearts of men and women. What is in our hearts is this belief that somehow, we can control events and control the world around us. We worship self and the ability of self to provide, protect, and control. But what this past year has revealed is that none of that is true.
So, how do we respond to this instability? How do we respond to our troubled souls? There are four things which we can absolutely count on in our troubled world.
The first thing we can count on is the rule of Christ. Ephesians 1:11 says, “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.” Christ who is God, rules. There is nothing that has happened this past year that has been a surprise to Him. In fact, it says that He “works all thing after the counsel of His will.” Not only is He not surprised but He has orchestrated all the events of this past year and all the events of our lives. He is in absolute control of absolutely everything.
The second thing we can count on is Righteousness of Christ. Philippians 3:9 says, “and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.” One of the reasons that there has been so much fear this year, in fact the overriding reason is that people innately understand that they are unrighteous. Because of this they understand that dying will bring judgment because all men are sinners. We cannot make ourselves righteous. We cannot behave our way into righteousness. Righteousness only comes through Christ, “from God on the basis of faith” in Christ. This fear of our own unrighteousness causes us great instability. But the righteousness of Christ can be counted on to make us righteous in the eyes of God.
The third thing we can count on is our redemption in Christ. Titus 2:11-14 says, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” The righteousness that we so desperately need is found only in Christ. “God has appeared” in the form of Christ, and He brings “salvation to all men,” if they will but repent and believe. Why do we say, “repent and believe?” Because it says that must “deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.” That’s repentance. Salvation is only through repentance of our sins (turning from our sins) and belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
The final thing we can count on is the return of Christ. Philippians 3:20-21 says, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” Christ will return and He will reign in absolute power. If you have placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you don’t need to get too caught up in what is going on in this world. Your ultimate citizenship is not here in the United States, but it is in heaven. How freeing is that? What a wonderful freedom we have as citizens of heaven.
These four fundamental truths, especially when taken together, necessitate that we move from a state of unending fear of man to faith in Christ, no matter what happens in the future.
Do you believe these things? If you do, then there is no reason for you to be consumed by anger, anxiety, or agitation over the events of the day. Psalm 31:20-21 says, “You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the LORD, For He has made marvelous His loving kindness to me in a besieged city.”
These four truths are what are real in Christ and are the foundation of living without fear. No man, no government, no virus, no event can overturn them. Philippians 4:1 says, “Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.”
Tim Adams is the pastor of Sovereign Grace Community Church of the Yampa Valley. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 970-761-0589.
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Prov. 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.