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The Real Problem
It seems as though there are problems all over the place these days. The recent earthquake in Haiti has caused major problems, the continuation of the wars that America is involved in is problematic, our nation is struggling with high unemployment that is creating a lot of financial problems for people. There is a whole lot of problems within our political system, financial system, and nearly every other aspect of our lives.
What is the Christian supposed to do when times get like they are now? First of all we must realize that we are living in the last days and according to the Word of God this time period will known by these types of events. However, the Word of God is also very clear that the believer can overcome and be victorious no matter what the conditions are like.
In Luke 21 Jesus warns us about the last days and being ready for His return. I would like to look at some of His words as I feel they are important for us today as we navigate our way through some tumultuous times.
34 But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the business of] this life, and [lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose;
35 For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth.
36 Keep awake then and watch at all times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things [taken together] that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man. (Luke 21:34-36 - AMP)
I what you to focus on some key points that are contained within the scriptures I listed above as I believe they are very important to us:
- "Take heed" and "be on your guard" - This is our responsibility. Too many Christians are going through life without paying attention to the warfare they are fighting. There are things that we will face that have been designed to be a trap in order to pull us away from what God's purpose for our lives are.
- "Lest your hearts be overburdened" - This is very important because according to Proverbs 4:23 it is our heart the governs our lives. Once your heart gets overburdened you have affected all aspects of your life.
- "Worldly worries and cares pertaining to the business of this life" - this is where we live day to day. You may think that the things happening in the world are just things, but according to the Word of God the 'business of life' can overtake you to the point where you totally miss what God is doing.
- "It will come upon all" - In verse 35 we see that there is no immunity from the events described by Jesus. "All" have to face and navigate through these difficulties. This is why we were instructed to pay attention and guard ourselves. Don't think lightly of the things that you are battling right now. They just very well may be a trap to get you overburdened.
- "be accounted worthy to escape all these things that will take place" - now we find the promise. It is possible to escape the things that have been designed as a trap to get you overburdened.
If you review the above list carefully and study the Words of Jesus you will have great insight into what is going on all around us. Life seems to be pressing in on so many people and so many ministries that the pressure of the events is causing peoples hearts to be overburdened. This is a trap that we must guard against. We must find God's way of doing things so that we escape these things.
In the book of Mark (4:36-39) we find an interesting story of Jesus who was on a ship on this particular occasion. During the course of their travels the ship started taking on water due to a storm which Jesus confronts as we can read (KJV):
36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Typically when we think about a storm at sea we will focus on the waves because it is the waves that have the ability to sink the ship. However, notice in this passage (verse 37) that this great storm was a storm of wind.
This is important and pertinent to this article for this reason. The disciples came to Jesus and woke Him up because of the waves that were hitting the ship. The ship was taking on water and they knew that they were going to drown. However, when Jesus confronts the storm (verse 39) He rebukes the wind first, which was the source of the problem. It was the pressure of the wind that was causing the waves to roar.
You may be wondering why this is important. The answer to that is most Christians are like the disciples they have their focus on the waves and in doing so they think that the waves are their problem. If you just imagine trying to keep the water bailed out of the boat you will realize that your heart will be overwhelmed in a hurry. Jesus understood that in order to stop the waves He must first deal with the source of the problem.
What fights our faith when we are in times like this is the pressure that creates the waves. The waves can actually become a distraction to us keeping us running around trying to fix things. To effectively stop the wave (the problem of your life) you need to deal with the wind (that which is causing the problem).
When we start talking about some of the problems we are facing that I listed in the first paragraph of this article we know that from a natural standpoint there is nothing we can do to change many of the things that are going on. However, according to Jesus' Words found in the book of Luke we have the ability to escape what is going on.
Just because a storm of wind is blowing doesn't mean it has to blow on you! You have the right and ability to escape all these things. It doesn't matter if you are escaping a layoff, a natural disaster, or anything else you have been seated in Christ far above everything name that is named. In order to successfully operate this way you must realize that there are winds behind the waves and be willing to stand against them. Victory is assured for the believer who trust in the Lord!