Peace from Problems

By Greg Quinn

December 9, 2008

For all the problems we face in America and in the world today, recognize several facts:

One, we are not alone.  God is with us.  And, God shares in his Word not only that He will take care of His people, but that he will “never leave us or forsake us”.  We may forsake Him, and we have, and we do.  But, God will never forsake us.  He is always with us.  Even during times of trouble.  Even now in the uncertainty of the economy, of Obama’s socialistic plans, of the jeopardy in the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.  God is with us. 

God is with America because of the remnant of His people that still believe in the power of God to save us and to help us.  God is with America because of the prayers of the saints; the prayers of those of us who love God and trust Him in these times of trouble, and we consistently make our petitions known to a loving God.  God is still with America because we were built upon a Christian foundation.  Even as those in our leadership today deny this, as long as those of us that are Christians will keep our eyes focused upon God and recognize that it is He who is in charge, not the elected officials, it is He who is in control, not the wicked government, then He will remain with us.  God promises to never leave us or forsake us, and for times of uncertainty, this is something to take as comfort.

Secondly, not only is God with us always, but He knows the problems we face, and he cares.  The Bible teaches us that God loves us so much more than anything else.  God knows how long we will live, our problems, our successes and failures (both past, present, and future), and even knows the number of the hair on our heads.  And, even knowing us this deeply, and even as sinful creatures, He loves us anyway. 

Next, God tells us to not worry, but trust in Him.  In Luke 12:22-31, Jesus says, “Therefore, I say unto you, Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.  The life is more than food, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens; for they neither sow nor reap, which neither have storehouse nor barn, and God feedeth them; how much more are ye better than the fowls?  And which of you by being anxious can add to his stature one cubit?  If ye, then, are not able to do that thing which is least, why are we anxious for the rest?  Consider the lilies how they grow.  They toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you that Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.  If, then, God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?  And seek not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.  For all these things do the nations of the world seek after; and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Jesus clearly told his followers on that day, just as he does today, to not worry about the things of the world, but to put our trust in him.  “Don’t worry about what you are going to wear or what you are going to eat”, Jesus was basically saying.  “God takes care of the birds and they don’t raise their own food or do any work for their provisions, and God takes care of the flowers who are more glorious than the richest persons who ever lived.”  So, Jesus is saying, “if God takes care of these, He will certainly take care of you.” “God knows your needs”, Jesus said, “and if you seek the kingdom of God and put God first, then God will take care of all the needs in your life.”

Jesus is not telling us to not work, as the Bible clearly teaches us that we are to work.  Jesus is not telling us to simply do nothing and let God take care of everything for a lazy and unproductive people, as this is contrary to God’s plan for our productivity.  It is all about where we put our confidence.  Do we put our confidence in our government?  If so, it is misplaced and it will fail, as it is now.  Do we put our confidence in our abilities to perform?  If so, we will be disappointed because we can only do so much, and we often fail in our endeavors.  Do we put our confidence in our riches?  If so, they can be gone.  As now.  Jesus said, “for all these things do the nations of the world seek after”; but we are different.  God in Heaven knows what we need, and He wants to provide it for us.  What are we to do?  “Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you.”  If we put our faith and confidence in the God of the Bible, then He will in turn meet our needs in all ways.

Next, we do have a task.  There are things that we can do.  We are to “pray without ceasing”, or go to God all the time in all things.  We are to have faith that God will bless us in spite of the problems, that God loves His people, and that we can in fact put our confidence in Him.  First, of course, you must become one of His people.  If you have never put your faith and confidence in Jesus, the Son of the living God, then before the blessings of God’s children can be recognized you must become a child of God.  And, the only way to become a child of God is to put your faith in Jesus.  Believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for our sins, and accept Jesus as the Lord of your life and follow His leadership, and then these blessings can become yours.  Get a Bible and read the first five chapters of the book of Romans, and you can learn much to help you in this life.  We can increase our faith by reading and studying the Bible, God’s Holy Word.  And, we can use the skills and abilities that God has given us to help others see the light and enjoy the same peace and confidence that you can enjoy as a child of God, and use our talents to do what we can, with God’s help, to make a difference.

Finally, we need to do something now, not later.  We cannot wait for Obama to fix our problems.  We cannot expect someone else to come through for us, the economy miraculously get better, the wars to suddenly stop, etc.  We must do something.  The time is ripe for opportunity.

In Luke 10:2-3, Jesus says, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; pray ye, therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.  Go your ways; behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.”

We live in a troublesome and perilous world.  But, we have a God who loves us and will help us.  We can therefore go forward into this troubled world and make a difference.  And, we cannot wait, but need to do so now. Today.

When Jesus was sitting with his disciples as outlined in Luke 10, he probably looked over a sea of people.  When we think of the fields “ripe unto harvest”, we think of white fields of cotton, or golden fields of grain.  Jesus was talking about people. Perhaps looking over multitudes of people from his elevated position on the mountain, and seeing the great many white turbans as ripe fields, Jesus was showing his disciples that there was such an opportunity to reach others and show them the light of God’s love, but there were so few willing to work.  How much more is this true today! 

We see the problems all around us, but all we want to do is sit by and complain.  We see the opportunities and the needs, but we do not want to get off our couches and do anything about it.  We have Congressmen, Senators and Representatives, that we as citizens of America put into position to adequately represent us, but we do not take the time to let them know what we need for them to do, or hold them accountable when they do not serve us well.  What can any of us do?  We can contact our elected officials and make sure they are doing good work.  We can read the Bible and learn more about what we are to do, and how we are to serve.  We are to care about others enough to want them to experience the joys that can come from serving a loving God.  We can introduce others to Jesus where they can enjoy a “peace that passes all understanding”.  We can quit complaining, and start doing something.  We can use our influence and our abilities to make a difference in the world.  We have a voice; we can let it be heard.  We have been blessed with talents, we can use them to help others.  We have been blessed with finances, we can give to help others.  We can pray often for our nation and our leaders.  And, we can and must trust a Holy God who loves us more than we can recognize, and only wants to see our success.

Yes, we live in perilous times.  But, we don’t have to fret.  We can rejoice knowing that God is in control, that He loves us, and that He is there to help us even now.  We can in fact trade our problems for peace. 

Get up, get the word out.  We can be victorious.

Greg Quinn