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Trusting in God's Position, Not Our Perspective

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Last week, William Brown (one of the Middle School Sunday School teachers) sent me an email containing a letter to the parents within our ministry. While it was written as an encouragement to the parents, I thought it would also be an encouragement to you, our church as a whole.

In this letter William is reflecting upon Psalm 46, a wonderful Psalm full of encouragement for us. William has a fine treatment of the psalm which is encouraging enough on its own. But we should also be encouraged, knowing our students hear from fine teachers such as him every week during Sunday School. It is a true joy to serve alongside such servants. Here is his letter:

Parents,

I have had the wonderful privilege of getting to know your children over the last couple of months.  It has been a joy to come under the leadership of Pastor Trey and work with JB, teaching in the Middle School Sunday School.  I am thankful for these men, our elders and our church.  What a joy to be part of such a wonderful church family!

Amid the current events surrounding our nation, I just felt a need to share with each and everyone of you.  I have already felt the impact of missing our gathering together.  I know that this time is very odd, sort of surreal and in its own way, downright challenging.  I know it is very easy to get distracted and discouraged during these times.  That is why I wanted to share with you and your children what I have been reading through, praying through and meditating on during these difficult times.  I pray this will bless your soul, encourage your faith and remind you of the deep, deep love of our Father!

I have been working through Psalm 46, reading and praying through it verse by verse, and I want to share with you what I have learned through this.  I encourage you to read the psalm first, before reading on, to prepare your own heart and get a context of what I am sharing.

Right off the bat, we read God is our refuge (shelter) and our strength!  Very comforting words indeed.  As we look through the first three verses, I believe that the psalmist is encouraging us that although all this chaos is happening (vv. 2—3), though all of this physical chaos is happening all around us, our God, with all of His might, in abundant force, God is there, present and able to help us in our time of need, in our time of trouble!  This is the context of why the psalmist starts verse 2 with us not fearing.  In times of uncertainty, when our emotions arise with anxiety and confusion and nothing makes sense to our eyes, may we preach to ourselves this truth and be comforted.

Now in case verses 1-3 make it seem like God is far off and only come running when we are in trouble, the Psalmist reminds us He is a personal God, One who is not far off.  In verses 4-6, the Psalmist not only reminds us of God’s Sovereignty, but that although everything else gives way, falls apart or crumbles, HE IS NOT MOVED!  Then in verse 7, we are encouraged even more by seeing He is imminent, He isn’t far off, He is near, He truly is a very present help, because He is with us.  The unmovable God, amid all the chaos, He is comforting, rescuing, helping His people.

After such comforting truth, some much needed reminders, the psalmist then naturally invites us to respond in worship.  In verse 8, we are invited to come.  That might not seem like much, but in inviting us to “come,” we are called to do something.  Specifically, the psalmist is calling us to actively see, to behold the works of our God.  It is a reminder that although chaos is ensuing, it is not unfolding apart from the knowledge of God.  In fact, we read He is sovereignly ruling over the chaos!  It is also an attack on our natural response to react in fear during such uncertain times.  So, he calls us, he invites us to see, to look upon, to behold the wonderous works of our Lord! Verse 9 also reminds us that as He wishes, God will put an end to all the chaos, to all the desolation.  As the One who is sovereignly ruling the world, all things are under His subjection (cf. Isaiah 45:7).

Coming to verse 10, the Psalmist first calls us to be still.  What is in mind here is not a lack of movement, but rather a relaxation from an active withdrawal from or a neglecting the things that are bringing about the anxiety in our lives. It is about trusting in God’s position, not our perspective.  For me, this is hard.  I tend to see the chaos and see the destruction coming and I want to fix it. I want to stand against it in my own strength instead of pressing into the Lord. The psalmist tells us that it’s when we press into the Lord, that we will know He is God (cf. Jer 9:23—24).

The psalmist concludes the psalm by once again reminding us that we are not alone, that God Himself is with us, as our fortress, our refuge, and our stronghold! Therefore, there is no need to fear regardless of the circumstances!

I pray these words bring comfort to you during this time.  We are a blessed church family to be shepherded by the elders we have.  I just want to come alongside all of you, to let you know I am praying for each of you.  I am already longing for the time when we can meet back together corporately.  Until then, just know I am here for each of you.  If you or your children need prayer, feel free to reach out to me. I love you all, and may God glorify Himself through us during this season.

In Christ,

William Brown

Posted by Trey Meester with

Strange Times and Real Danger

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Friends, these are strange times. In some measure, all of our lives have been affected by the present crisis of the coronavirus. Sadly, this past Sunday was one of those times. Not meeting together on the Lord’s day seems odd, feels weird, and is surely dangerous. Sure, we recognize that it is necessary for the moment. However, we should also be aware of the danger that comes with not meeting.

 

The danger that comes with less exposure to God’s people, especially the Sunday morning service, is that our straying hearts are not kept in check. To make matters worse, there is also confinement to our homes, restricting our free access to society at large. These are times for the perfect storm so to speak. Here is what I mean, there is a real danger when we do not receive the necessary checks to our hearts (like Sunday services, contact with God’s people, etc.) and there is further danger when our hearts free-reign is restricted (through confinement to homes, continual contact with the people we are closest to, new expectations, etc.). That danger is that our sin would be exposed and our hearts unwilling to repent of it.

 

In these times our personal walk with the Lord is of the utmost importance. There is no doubt that our sin will be exposed in these days. Let’s be honest, most of you are now home all day with your students and by this point find yourself in an extremely redundant and confined routine. We are often not even able to go outside due to weather. This makes our desire for “relief” all the harder, all the more needed, and all the more exposing of the way we actually think and what we actually desire.

 

Make no mistake, this present crisis we find ourselves in will expose our desires, both the good ones (desiring to be back at church) and the bad ones (impatience and selfishness). If our personal walk with the Lord is weak or non-existent, we will respond to these circumstances sinfully. It is only a strong personal walk with the Lord that will provide a means for us to respond righteously, pleasing the Lord.

 

So, do not be discouraged when your sin is exposed; but rather, be encouraged to strengthen your walk with the Lord and address your sin as He would have you to—remember Colossians 3, Hebrews 4:14-16 and Psalm 32. But please, don’t respond like Cain and refuse to fix what you know is wrong. For in the moment your sin is exposed there is the graciousness of the Lord’s words recorded for you, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it (Gen 4:7).” If we want to please and be accepted by the Lord, we must deal with our sin.

 

The sin that we must deal with in these times is not new; it has always been there. It is simply that the normal outlets for our sin and callouses toward our sin have been removed for this moment. Therefore, we must not miss these opportunities to address our sin and repent of it before the Lord.

 

Friends, I call you faithful parents every week not only because you bring your students to church every week, but also because you live out what you profess before them every day. These strange days are no different. They may be harder; but they are no different. We must exemplify, now more than ever, the pious act of repentance, because our families are presented with the same danger. Our families know the same lack of fellowship and exposure of the heart. How will they know the salvation granted to us is true, unless we demonstrate it before them as an act of worship to God? Friends, these strange times are a marvelous opportunity for us to display what we profess; furthermore, it is guaranteed to display what we believe. So, in these moments let’s watch our lives and strengthen our walk.

 

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