Words of Inspiration

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭27:1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

There are many things to fear today. Will I get into a car wreck? Will my house burn down or be broken into? Will today be when the zombie apocalypse begins? Serious concerns, of course, but why do we worry about these things as Christians?

We are the children of the all-mighty creator of the universe! That’s an incredible guardian! 

Now, does this mean that when you become a Christian that nothing will ever go wrong? Not even close. Christ even said it would happen, but we should be grateful. 

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:10-12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

It seems counterintuitive to be happy when people are persecuting you, but a lot of the teachings of Jesus seem that way if you haven’t completely given him control. Don’t get it twisted; I struggle daily with giving control of my life to God.

I am the son of a great worrier, so worrying and being afraid of things are bred in me from my mother; however, my mother knows that when she is stressed/worried/afraid about anything she can pray to God for strength and comfort. She knows that the God of Abraham, Joseph, David, and many other great men and women is with her. 

If a force that powerful is deeply interested in loving and caring for you, what could frighten you? Accept the love and care of God, and take heart in knowing that even if bad things happen that God will take care of you. 

Peace. Love. Roll Tide.

Words of Inspiration

I’d like to start writing more often. My “Southern Observations” have rekindled my love for writing, and I’d like to take that relationship to the next level so we can start seeing more of each other. I thought I would offer some words of inspiration from God’s word, and today’s verse is a great start.

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” (Psalms 55:22 NKJV)

When I was in high school, a popular saying among Christians was “Let go and let God.” You could easily see dozens of churchgoers driving in cars with that bumper sticker and wearing t-shirts and bracelets with the slogan; however, it’s not just a catchy saying.

King David penned these words in a psalm expressing anguish. He was sorrowful because he was being hunted by his enemies. He cried out to God for help as he did many times in songs that truly pull at heartstrings and speak to many even today.

This was about a thousand years before the apostle Peter wrote: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV)

Two men separated by a millennium were inspired by God to write similar messages of hope to their contemporaries. Why the repetition?  Could it be that even 2,000 years after Peter we still need to hear and accept this teaching?

How often are you stressed because of something at work/school/home? How many times do you feel like you just can’t handle it anymore? Honest answers only please: How many times have you wondered why God is doing this to you?

We (Americans) are a stressed people. Not because we are running from militant dictators or striving to survive in the jungle, but because we try to do everything ourselves. God did say that He would not give us more than we could handle; nonetheless, we do not have to do it all. If we admit that we are not God, accept that there is an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God who loves us, and give control of our lives to Him, we will see many of our stresses go away. Those that remain will seem much simpler and less taxing.

So when you feel like pulling your hair out and screaming in frustration to the heavens, remember these somewhat trite but nevertheless true words: Let go and let God.

Peace. Love. Roll Tide.

Southern Rest

The band Cage the Elephant had a song that went something like this: “There ain’t no rest for the wicked / Money don’t grow on trees / I got bills to pay, I got mouths to feed, and ain’t nothing in this world for free / Oh no, I can’t slow down, I can’t hold back even though I wish I could / Oh no, there ain’t no rest for the wicked / until we close our eyes for good.” It’s a catchy song trying to explain why people do bad things by saying that it is the only choice they have in this tough world that will not give them any respite.

Is this true? Do we have no other option than to lie, cheat, steal, and kill in order to get by in this dark, evil, fallen world? I will submit that living immorally seems to make life easier, at least for a time, but you will always get caught, and then what has your easier path gained you? You now have a punishment that may or may not fit your crime.

“Life is hard. It’s even harder if you’re stupid,” remarked the great John Wayne. Since life is hard, and trying to be evil ends up with consequences, how do we get a break from life’s toils?

The Bible has many answers. Christ said “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:29 NIV).” Psalms 55:22 avers “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” “ Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you,” 1 Peter 5:7 adds.

The Lord will not allow us to be tempted with anything that we cannot handle ourselves (1 Corinthians 10:13). This means that there is no excuse for falling into and getting stuck in temptation; however, it can get exhausting. In cases like this, we are to rely on God to sustain us. Yes, we can beat these temptations and hard times by ourselves, but we need God to strengthen us when we tire.

Over the past two weeks, I have worked two days due to snow and ice cancelling school. During this “Snowcation”, I have been able to rest. I slept in, relaxed with my wife when it was too dangerous for her to go to work, and recharged my batteries. It was really good for me personally to have this break.

As rewarding as this physical rest was for me, God offers a spiritual rest that is much more valuable. The fleshly body is weak and requires more rest than the soul, but this does not mean that the spirit is eternally unflagging. Worry can not only tire the body, but it can stress out the soul. If we give our worries to Christ, He can carry them for us while our soul rejuvenates.

Take time to visit the Psalms and Proverbs. Find respite in God’s word. Soothe your soul in the Gospels. Rest in the writings of Paul. This world is rough, but God protects His children from life’s storms.

Peace. Love. Roll Tide.