Psalm 112:7 He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. (NKJV)
War. Disaster. Economic Depression. Lawsuits. Disease. Job Loss. Unfaithfulness. Injustice. Crime.
How much fear do these invoke in your heart? In the inevitable cycle of societal history, strength of character produced from adversity, is replaced with generations that rely on drugs, therapy, materialism and the escape of pleasure to deal with life. It is not an arguable point that in the world today there is a critical lack of emotional stamina, personal responsibility and strength of character in general.
The loss of a job is emotionally catastrophic and immediately we look to see who is going to “do something about it” (usually the government). A decline in lifestyle and material comfort is cause for depression and an increase in welfare. Any accident is grounds for a lawsuit; someone is “going to pay”. There is an expectation of cradle-to-grave safety and security and it is seen as “unfair” when it is interrupted.
Is there a reason for this mental weakness and emotional frailty? History says yes. In the chronicles of society, the more a group depends on God, the greater their strength of character.
As hard-earned strength of character
produces prosperity and blessing,
security inevitably shifts to the blessing,
instead of remaining in the One Who Blesses.
Psalm 52:6-7 The righteous also shall see and fear, And shall laugh at him, saying, “Here is the man who did not make God his strength, But trusted in the abundance of his riches, And strengthened himself in his wickedness.” (NKJV)
Given the temporal, fragile nature of riches, comfort and pleasure, which can disappear in an instant of tragedy, it becomes critical to examine where your trust is placed.
How would “bad news” (evil tidings) affect you today? Where is your hope and trust? In a bank account or in the King of the Universe? Do you trust in prosperity or the Prince of Peace? Is your hope in God or the government? Is your security in the Lord of All Creation or the lottery?
If you lost every penny you have today, found out you had cancer, your house burned down, and your family was gone… would you be left in the arms of a loving, faithful God? Or would you be left alone because all that you surrounded yourself with, is gone?
Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NKJV)
For the successful and talented, it is tempting to think “I did once, I will do it again”. So the fear of loss is lessened in light of trust in your own abilities. What if those abilities to produce, to make money, to be successful were gone today? What if you’re a singer, and you lose your voice? What if you have the Midas touch but the economy collapses? Maybe you’re a model and your face gets disfigured; or an athlete who develops muscular dystrophy... what would you be left with?
What if you are one of those multi-talented, super successful, hard working, everything-you-touch-prospers kind of persons? What would you be left with after a phone call today from your doctor informing you that you have a debilitating disease that will leave you helpless, bedridden and dependent in a few weeks?
This is not meant to be a gloomy, guilt-trip, emotional manipulation. It is meant to encourage you to examine where your trust is NOW, before tragedy reveals it. It is meant to help us meditate and contemplate on what would be left if everything we have, everything we are, everything we can do… were to be suddenly lost.
There is NO BAD NEWS that can bring
despair and hopelessness
to the heart that is steadfastly trusting in God.
There is no tragedy, no loss, no stock market plunge, no war, no disease or no fire that is greater than the love and security of being safe in the arms of Jesus. To the contrary, when our trust is in circumstances instead of God, even the littlest disturbance or potential bad news becomes a source of anxiety, worry and stress.
Jeremiah 17:7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. (NKJV)
Put your trust in the God who is above anything life can throw at you. The greater the trial or loss, the greater God’s faithfulness.
O Caring God, give us the wisdom to see the frailty and futility of trusting in anything but You. Grant us the courage and faithfulness to put our hope in You. Amen.
Contemplation: Have you given serious thought to your response if you were to lose everything and be made helpless? What would you be left with? Despair and hopelessness? Or God?
Application: Ask God to reveal to you where your trust is placed today. If it is in anything but God alone, ask Him to give you the understanding and discernment needed to see the truth.