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How are you doing these days?  As coronavirus infections begin to surge all around us again, I can feel the stress or tension among people beginning to ramp up.  Can't you?  Not that stress and anxiety weren't already here but I can sense it increasing with the recent rise in infection rates, ongoing political tension, the holidays coming, and uncertainty about the future.  Beyond school, we try to keep things fairly light at home for the kids.  When we have time, we'll sit and watch a movie together, play a game, or take a drive.  We know these things are only temporary diversions but they help lighten the uncertainty of a future that seems so unclear at this time (and they provide teaching moments along the way).  With Colson our 17 year-old, it's harder to lighten the disappointment of not being able to see his friends and have a normal senior year of high school.  We try to share in his feelings and strike a balance between the uncertainty that exists and trust in the Lord for the future.  I recently read that because of feelings of uncertainty, Gen-Z young adults (18-23) have been the most prone of any age group to anxiety and depression during the pandemic.  And yet God desires to give hope to our young people (and to our old . . . and to those in-between as well).  

 

Isaiah 46:10 says "I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.'"  Here the Lord says that He foretells the course of future events and that His purpose, His will shall be accomplished.  I hope it is a comfort to you to know that the Sovereign Lord holds the future - as uncertain as it looks today - in His able hands.  It is God's plan and purpose that will prevail as it says "from ancient times to what is still to come."  Now there is still a spiritual battle taking place and we see the effects of sin and Satan in our lives and in the world around us but know that it's temporary and that God's plan will not be thwarted.  In the prior verse, Isaiah 46:9 says "I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me."  He is the one true God before whom we all one day will bow.

 

But it's not just that God is sovereign over history that gives us hope and peace during these uncertain times.  It is that He is personal and intimate with us.  He doesn't rule from afar.  He's not dispassionate.  David reveals in Psalm 139 that God is close to us and wants us to be close to Him.

  • In verses 1-4, God sees our thoughts, our feelings, our whereabouts, and our words.  "You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely."
  • In verses 7-10, God is with us to guide and protect.  "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." 
  • In verses 13-16, He created us special and is sovereign over our individual lives.  "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well . . . all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

This is the amazing thing about our God!  He is both grand and personal.  As He unfolds history (His story) and reveals His sovereign glory, He is close, faithful, and intimate with His children.  We know this to be true in the life of Jesus, whose birth we will celebrate in the coming month.  But in this season of uncertainty, where stress and anxiety may abound, know that the Lord knows you and the future is in His hands.  Draw near to Him.  Find your hope and peace in Him.

 

Take care,

Pastor Darren