Dr. James C. Denison
President, Center for Informed Faith, Dallas, TX
November 2, 2010
When you fear the future
PThe mid-term elections are upon us. More than 500 House, Senate and governor’s races will be decided today. This morning’s New York Times asks: How powerful will the Tea Party be? Is this election about President Obama? How will the new Congress address the still-weak economy? What will today mean for the 2012 presidential election?
Some are afraid that the elections themselves will not go well. USA Today reports this morning that absentee ballots and complex voting machines could cause significant delays. We’ll know more tomorrow than we know today. And most of us will still be concerned for the future of our nation.
Yesterday we began a conversation about trusting our fears to God. When we do, Scripture promises that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). How do we give our fears to our Father?
First, name what worries you this morning. Be as specific as possible: “I am afraid that the economy will get worse and I will lose my job,” or “I am afraid that my daughter is dating the wrong boy.” If you are concerned about your health, or marriage, or church, or government, state your fear.
Second, give that worry to God, asking for his help and strength. Again, be specific: “Lord, I give my job and financial needs to you” or “Father, I ask you to help my daughter make godly decisions with her boyfriend.” Tell God that you are trusting him with your health problem. Ask him to heal your marriage, or bring reconciliation in your church, or guide those who serve your nation.
Third, claim a biblical principle which speaks to your fear. For financial burdens, believe that “my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). For your children, know that your Father is their Father and claim his love for them (Matthew 19:13-15).
For your marriage, know that as Jesus blessed the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11) so he wants to bless yours. If a husband will choose to “love his wife as he loves himself,” and a wife will choose to “respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33), God stands ready to heal and to help. For your church, know that “you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27). Ask Jesus to show you your role in making your church all God wants it to be. For your government, obey God’s call to “intercession and thanksgiving” for “kings and all those in authority” (1 Timothy 2:1, 2), asking God to lead those who lead you.
In 1481, Agostino di Duccio of Florence bought an expensive eighteen-foot block of pure white marble to do a sculpture. After gouging a chasm up the middle, he quit and the piece of marble was left in a junk heap. Twenty years later, Michelangelo took the Agostino Lump, which everyone else considered worthless, and used it to carve his famous statue of David. If you’ll give your fears and flaws to your Father, he’ll make them into something even better: the image of the Son of David, the Lord Jesus himself (Romans 8:29). This is the promise, and the invitation, of God.
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