• Matt Richards

Trusting in Turbulence

Confidence is a character trait used in many marketing slogans and product lines to convince consumers they need a certain product to achieve a certain result. The ad usually portrays that if they have this, they will be or have (fill in the blank). It has been used in many movies as the solution to overcoming someone’s rival or antagonist. To some extent, we should all seek to be confident in what we do, but like all other human traits, our ultimate confidence cannot be in ourselves. Our ultimate confidence should be in God—not our abilities, not our position, not our intelligence, and not our money. 2020 has been one crazy ride so far, and it’s only May 14th. The stock market took a big hit, causing some major concern for some peoples’ financial future. The coronavirus has claimed lives, shut down cities, kept people from earning a living, and taken a toll on the economy.Tornadoes and fires across the nation have taken lives and destroyed property. As we look to the future, hurricane season is upon us and the political unrest and fighting that comes with an election year will soon be blowing up the media. If our confidence and hope were secured in the stability of government, the stock market, and material possessions, we would be in a pretty bad spot. The prophet Jeremiah spoke of having trust in God and confidence in him alone in chapter 17 of his writing. Jeremiah 17:7-8 states, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.” Jeremiah faced some challenging times and had plenty of opposition in his ministry, but his eyes were set on God. This verse is very real in our lives today. How do we survive the heat and hardship that we face today? The solution is in the scriptures: the one who trusts and has confidence in the Lord will not fear when the heat comes. Instead, they will flourish like a tree whose roots have extended to the stream. In the midst of the fire they will grow! This is the effect of God’s word in the lives of those who trust in Him. If our confidence and trust is established in the word of God, we can then take full confidence in His promises as we face the unknown of each day. Scripture like Psalms 54:4 gives us peace: “Behold, God is my Help, the Lord is the sustainer of my soul.” In Psalms 27:3, King David expressed his confidence in God, “Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war arises against me, in spite of this I shall be confident.” If we proclaim scripture to be the very word of God, then we should have all confidence that it is 100% true in our lives. God has never stopped working, He’s never taken a break! You might not understand what is taking place, and He might be stretching you, but He’s still ever present in your life. The prophet Jeremiah had a hard road of ministry. The apostle Paul had a hard road of ministry. God’s people are not guaranteed anything in life except that God is with you through it all and that He is enough. These men were persecuted, beaten, jailed, shipwrecked, and faced opposition throughout their ministries. They were able to persevere not by their own means or effort. They persevered because of their perspective of God. He was the one who provided their hope, strength, confidence, and joy. He was their everything. Their outlook on life was unwavering because God was at the core of everything they believed and did. 2020 has been crazy! This year has been full of emotions, worries, and fears, but there is still one constant in all that has happened. Jesus is on His throne! Does that bring your heart excitement? Does that give you the breath of fresh air you needed to hear today? God is using all of these unfortunate circumstances to bring people closer to Him. Fear is not our master, worry is not our jailer; God's word has set us free from the bondage of the world! We can walk confidently today knowing that in a blink of an eye all these things will be gone and that one day we will be standing in the presence of our mighty Savior. The first step to finding the joy and peace Paul and Jeremiah had is by putting your full trust in God. Jesus alone is enough! I pray that we would all begin to approach everyday with this mentality. It doesn't matter what we see on the news. It doesn't matter what we read on Facebook. Jesus alone is enough! Rest easy today because God is still in control! He’s got your present situation and your unknown future in His hands today!

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