These Troubled Times
This week's message is These Troubled Times. Choose your connection speed to listen: dialup - broadband - transcript
Surrounded by Turmoil
We live in troubled times. Banks are failing. Home foreclosures are at an all-time high. Gas prices are high and unstable. Situations in the middle east are escalating. Persecution of Christians is on the rise. Natural disasters have never been so fierce and so frequent. There is no stability anywhere in the world today. Is there any relief for our souls?
Today we discuss the fear and dread we naturally have in such a world as this, and hear the call of the Master as he says to us, "Do not be afraid."
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Dark and Stormy World
We can learn a lot from the time that Peter walked to Jesus on the water. Jesus had sent the disciples to the other side of the sea as he stayed behind to pray. In the middle of the sea, a great storm came upon them, threatening their life.
Here they are, in the middle of a dark and stormy sea, struggling for their lives, and not knowing if they would be drowned in the dark, deadly waters. And on top of that, Jesus wasn't even in the boat with them. Have you ever felt like that? Maybe you feel like that now. The world all around you is dark and stormy, and your boat is quickly filling up with water. You don't know if you're going to sink, and you fear what tomorrow may bring.
Of course Peter knew long before Jesus came to them that the wind was boisterous, and that the waves were threatening to sink their boat. He knew that when he stepped out of the boat. And he still knew that even as he was walking on the water toward Jesus. But then he became afraid. And he started to sink.
Is your heart troubled? Are you being pulled down? Jesus is saying to you, "Let not your heart be troubled." And if you cry out to him today, he will stretch out his hand, and he will catch you.
Between Peter and Jesus was a dark and stormy sea. Between us and eternity is a dark and stormy world. But we should keep our eyes on the prize, on Jesus, who has already declared the end, and has already determined in his sovereignty what happens in the last chapter of the book of time.
This dark and stormy world, this world that grows more evil and unstable with every passing day, will soon pass away. If we get our eyes on the stock market, on our employment status, on our bank accounts, on our dwindling freedoms, on our declining health, then we will start to sink.
But someone greater than all this is coming. Jesus is walking to you on the water, in the middle of these troubled times. And if you are bold enough to trust in him, then you will answer his call to set your eyes upon him and, instead of cowering in dread or sinking in fear, to walk upon his promises, walk upon his Word, and with your eyes set straight in front of you, seeing through time into the soon return of Jesus, then nothing, absolutely nothing, will take you out of the reach of his strong and ever-present hand!
So let not your heart be troubled. Yes, we live in troubled times. But this too shall pass. Jesus is coming to forever still this storm, and it is already written upon the tablets of time itself that he will take us safely to the other side.
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Prayer Requests & Praise Reports
Surgery for Cancer – Ben & Jen write, Our stepdad / father-in-law Ross just had surgery for colon cancer. Praise God, they believe they got it all. But he has a year of chemotherapy, and cancer runs in his family.
Please pray for a quick and complete recovery, for peace for the whole family, and that this difficult time will work to his good, to bring him closer to Jesus than he's ever known possible, and to show him His glory.
Chronic Pain – Karene writes, Hi everyone, Thank you to you all for praying for me. Well, The doctor says I have peripheral Neuropathy (nerve pain), joint hyper mobility syndrome- (over stretched joints) which causes alot of pain, and chronic pain syndrome (all over body pain). so needless to say I am in alot of pain. even doing the simplest thing around the house tires me out so I have to pace my self. I am not used to doing that, but I guess I have to. The doctor wants me to exercise so a couple times a week my Mom and I walk around our neighborhood. We don't walk very far yet but we are working up to it. Right now the doctor has me on Neurontin and extra strength Tylenol for the pain, we shall see how that works. I saw the doctor on 7/7 and nothing has changed; except that the vitamin D level in my body is low so he has me taking calcium and extra vitamin D. I assume to prevent me from getting Osteoporosis. It's really the pits getting old sometimes. I will be 50 in December and I used to think that was so old and now I am almost there. UGH ! Hope all is going well with all of you. I keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Love and hugs, Karene
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