Monday, June 18, 2012

Thoughts on Father's Day

Today is Father's Day, 2012 and I realize it's been almost two years since I last posted on my blog. Time does have a way of passing more and more quickly as one ages.

Last night I did not sleep well. I tossed and turned with all sorts of different worries, many of which others would probably classify as "Not a Big Deal!" But to me, they were enough to keep me awake for many hours. As a result I really didn't feel like going to church, especially since I have no family in town right now to go with me. So I stayed home, read my Bible and related Matthew Henry Commentary, contemplated the new "Fighter Verse" for the week, and then watched last week's sermon online.

So, you ask...that is what you think qualifies as inspiration to write a blog post?

Actually, yes. The Lord kindly orchestrated all of these things around one central theme today: God's loving sovereignty as related to my worries and anxiety!

So let's start with the Bible passage. It was First Corinthians 1:17-31.

Paul is dealing with a problem of division among the Corinthian believers, however what struck me in the passage was the "actor" who is mentioned over, and over, and over: God. This is especially prevalent beginning in verse 20. God made the wisdom of the world to be foolish. In other words, God designed how salvation would be accomplished and it won't be found by following the wisdom of the world offers. In fact, God's design of the death of His Son on the Cross is considered as absolutely foolish by the world! Verse 25 puts it in strong language: "For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." Both verse 27 and 28 begin with "God chose." In verse 30 are the words, "God made." Salvation is of God; salvation is a sovereign work of God! God actively works in the world to accomplish His will.

So as I meditated on the passage and read the Matthew Henry Commentary, sovereignty just kept jumping off the page.

Then comes the Fighter Verse of the week, 1Peter 5:6-8. It begins with a command: Humble yourselves. Where? Under the mighty hand of God (there's sovereignty again). Why? So that at the proper time He may exalt you. You don't exalt yourself; God will determine when, where, and how much exaltation (there's sovereignty again). What is mentioned in the verse regarding how to humble yourself? Cast all your anxieties on Him. Why? Because He cares for you!

So casting your anxieties on Him is related to humbling yourself. That leads me to believe that not casting your anxieties on Him, but rather holding them in your mind and worrying about them, is the opposite of humbleness: pride. That makes sense because to hold them and worry about them says I don't trust the Father to do right by me and not trusting the Father is sin. Am I His child? Will not He as a perfect Father do what is best for me, even though it may not seem so at the time? Doesn't worrying about circumstances make me the central actor as if I could do something about them? If God is truly sovereign and if I am his child, He cares for me, He loves me, He wants what He knows is best for me, and I am absolutely foolish to hold my anxiety and worries in my heart. To cast them on Him is to submit to Him in meekness, trusting that my Father knows better than I.

Then comes Pastor John Piper's sermon from June 9th. His text is John 14:25-31. Jesus is within hours of arrest and the horrors of crucifixion, yet He is encouraging His disciples in three areas: Peace, Joy, and Faith/Trust. I'll leave the reader to listen/watch/read the sermon for the details, but the bottom line is the peace, joy, and faith that Jesus wants us to have is not something manufactured within us, but rather His peace, His joy, and His faith. He invites us to partake. So imagine...if I am partaking in Jesus' peace, how can I be anxious? If am partaking in Jesus' joy, how can I be overwhelmed with worry? If I am partaking in Jesus' faith, how can I doubt?

So in the quiet of the morning, God spoke to my heart through what should have been three very different ways, yet sovereignly contained one single message for me: Quit being prideful and holding on to your worries; cast them on Me and trust Me and I will give you My peace, My joy, and My faith!

As all father's know, children and family will eventually give you plenty about which you can stress and worry over. To do so is contrary to God's revealed will and is detrimental to your life. As a child of the Father, trust Him with the details and instead of worrying, in His faith, rest in His peace and His joy.

Happy Father's Day!

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