Picture it: You’re going through your everyday routine thinking everything is normal, when out of nowhere, you’re blindsided by a huge problem. The size of the problem is only outweighed by the unexpectedness of it all. What are you going to do? How are you going to deal with this? That’s when the shock sets in. You realize you are unprepared and unequipped to handle a problem as large as this one.
Not too long ago, I found myself in a similar situation. I felt like I’d been hit with a ton of bricks. Since I had no idea what to do, I did the only thing I could do – cry out to God. I know; that’s what you’re supposed to immediately do every time a problem arises, but let’s be honest. That’s often one of the last things we do.
As I cried out to God for help, the oddest thing happened. He led me to a passage of Scripture that’s usually only read at funerals – Psalm 23. Maybe it’s just me, but I rarely read this chapter of the Bible because I feel like it’s about death. Yet because of my problem a few months ago, God has helped me to see this particular psalm in a different light. The entire psalm is filled with amazing promises from God, but the one which stood out to me is found in verses five and six.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Can you imagine a big bully calling us out to fight, but God steps up and says, “Don’t worry; I’ve got this. You just relax and grab a bite to eat while I handle this,”? It may seem silly, but that’s exactly what God is saying in this psalm. Yet so many times, we feel the need to be in control, and we prevent God from working in our lives. We stifle Him from fulfilling His promises.
Christians have a freedom that no other group of people has, and it’s because of Christ’s work on the cross. His death and resurrection made it possible for us to step back when bad things happen and call on our Daddy God to fight our battles for us. When we do that, we experience the liberating joy that can only come from the power of an Almighty God who is fighting for us.
There is a lot of chaos in our world today. People are dying, children are being beheaded, and wars are starting. With all of these problems, there’s a great outcry about what we can do to stop it. And while it is our duty to stand for what is right, I think we’re forgetting an important thing we can and should be doing right now – pray! God has called us to be an example to a lost and dying world, yet many of us are so focused on what we can do that we’re forgetting what God can do.
Mueller understood something few Christians do. God is more powerful than the fiercest enemy the world has ever known. He longs to work in our lives, and He wants to deliver us from fear and worry. We WILL thrive when we get our eyes off ourselves and our problems and onto God, and we will experience a freedom unlike anything we’ve ever known. It won’t matter what happens to us because we know the God of victory.
It’s time for us to stop being so focused on the problems that we forget the only One who can solve them. We have freedom in Christ. He’s prepared a table for us in the presence of our enemies. It’s time for us to stop wringing our hands in worry and fear. No matter what happens, Satan can’t win when we trust God and praise His name. We are free!
“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed!” ~ John 8:36
*If you missed the last devotion in the series “Learning to Thrive,” use this link: http://www.erinelizabethaustin.com/blog/it-takes-a-little-time
 George Mueller; William H. Harding; Barbour and Company, Inc., 1985
© September 10, 2014