Have you ever noticed how distracting technology can be? It has a way of taking us out of the present into some other world. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, the list goes on and on! In the middle of my sermon, I got out the selfie stick to get a quick pic so I could update my Facebook status. A bit unconventional, but I think this illustration proved a point that it’s easy to be distracted from more important things.
Worry is one way that we can be distracted by the future, failing to trust God in the present. “Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength - carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” This was a great reminder from Corrie ten Boom who, through many trials, learned to better trust God.
Another way in which we must have the proper perspective in order to better trust God is to see that He always has a plan in the pain. James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” When we see pain as purposeful, we can better trust Him in the present. Believing this to be true can be very challenging! Fortunately, God gave us other believers to help us. Hebrews 10:24-25 talks about how we should spur or stimulate and encourage other. This passage says how we need to meet with other believers, exhorting each other… warning each other. We can’t battle sin on our own, God didn’t intend for us to do so.
Not only has God given us other Christians, He has given us Himself! To have the proper perspective, we must rely on the power of the Spirit. When God calls us to trust and follow Him, He also enables us to do so. Romans 8:11 says, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Battling sin and striving to see good in challenging circumstances is hard, but praise be to God that He gives us strength to have the right perspective!
So, as we head into the New Year, let’s remember that God gives us remembrances of the past and glimpses of the future so that we might better trust Him in the present!
If you missed the sermon on Sunday, listen here: