"...But God's word is not chained." 2 Timothy 2:9 (NIV)
Rob and I had a very serious talk last night with our son about what the future of the country might look. We voiced our concerns about all that is going on with the economy. Chase just turned twelve and has always been older than his years. We talked about the consequences of greed and idolatry. Heavy stuff. Words that left all of us feeling burdened and prone to despair, even though we discussed the fact that God is on His throne and controls the whole world.
Girlfriends, what would happen if we suddenly lost everything we owned next week? I used to think about that in a remote and distant way, like a person who wonders what it would be like to be lost outside in the blizzard as she sat all wrapped up in a blanket in front of a comforting fire on a crisp autumn night. Now with so many losing their jobs, the stock market's ups and downs, and the future so uncertain, that thought is coming to me more and more.
It is so easy to believe that the here and now is all that there is. I am a human being, swayed and chained by fears and my own emotions. Girlfriends, God's Word is never chained. Never. Not once. If He has said something, it is the truth, though the earth be moved and the mountains fall into the sea. Who is the One who is on the throne today? These are the verses I return to over and over again when the lump of fear in my throat threatens to claim me:
"The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming." Psalm 37:12-14 (New International Version)
"Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?
Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust." Isaiah 40:14-15 (NIV)
"Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes." Psalm 37:5-7 (NIV)
"Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; love and faithfulness go before You." Psalm 89:14 (NIV)
"I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed. Psalm 37:25-26 (NIV)
"[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living!
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord." Psalm 27:13-14 (Amplified Bible)
What would become of me had I not believed that I would see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living? If I did not know that no one needs to be His counselor, if righteousness and justice were not the foundation of His throne? I would slowly crumble into a tight ball of fear and despair. I would be denied the freedom that this knowledge gives me to live today with joy and hope. I would miss the very purpose for why He put me on this earth, at this very time, for this very generation. His Word is not chained, girlfriend. It still is living and breathing and is as powerful today as the day He revealed it and had it written down.
On those days when I cannot think of a reason to not be glum, I remember what He's done. He has never let me down, not once. Even when I thought He did. I must make a conscious effort to praise my God. Right now--in the middle of the blues of my soul. His unchained Word delivers me from the shackles of despair as I say out loud the truths that make the enemy high tail it out of there. Satan cannot stand to be in the presence of the Word of God. He has to leave. God's power has not been diminished one iota. But my ability to recognize that will be if I do not apply the tonic of His Word when my heart is afraid.
Jesus, You are the Word made flesh. When I speak Your Name and power to my fear, Your presence pushes away the darkness and floods my soul with light. You are not threatened one bit by anything that is making my world chaotic. You are in the whirlwind and the storm. Give me the courage to step out of the boat in the middle of the raging sea and walk to Your peace.