Don’t worry about anything; on the contrary, make your requests known to God by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving. Then God’s SHALOM, passing all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Messiah Yeshua. In conclusion, brothers, focus your thoughts on what is true, noble, righteous, pure, lovable or admirable, on some virtue or on something praiseworthy. Keep doing what you have learned and received from me, what you have heard and seen me doing; then the God who gives SHALOM will be with you. Phil. 4:6-9
The Lord’s prescription for our troubles—near or far, large or small—remains the same . . . pray to Him with thanks and focus on the good to put out the fires of anxiety, worry and stress. This practice starves fear and feeds our faith. It helps us take a deep breath and think clearly. Join me?
- Father, thank you for our firefighters, professionals and volunteers, and their supporters. In particular, I thank you for my niece Megan, her husband Jason, and her son James, who put out fires. We pray for their endurance, safety and success.
- The wind has shifted and rain is coming—perhaps as you read this. Thank you, Lord.
- Residents in endangered areas are receiving invitations, Come and stay with us. Amen.
- Neighbors have united in rescuing animals, property, and each other. Thank you, Adonai, for community and the courage to enact it.
- To escape the fire, the Colton Fire Department has moved in with the Aurora Fire Department. They have received so much food, bottled water and socks from their communities, they’ve run out of room and asked them to stop! I praise You, Lord, for such thoughtful support.
Such prayer does not deny the hardships or the losses. They are many and severe. Rather, we also extend compassion and assistance as we renew our own hope by focusing on God’s timeline.
My thoughts keep returning to the time of Jesus. His people were dominated by the oppression of the Roman empire as well as legalistic, power hungry leadership in their own synagogues of faith. However, this man of miracles and great authority did not remove the Roman government from Israel or reform Jewish leadership. Instead he modeled the hope of an eternal perspective—a gift not just to that particular generation, but to us as well. Troubles are a reality of this life. Jesus came to give us an eternal perspective, a promise of Heaven devoid of sin, tragedy, and hardship that we may live this life in hope of the next.
John 14:1-3 Don’t let yourselves be disturbed. Trust in God and trust in me. In my Father’s house are many places to live. If there weren’t, I would have told you; because I am going there to prepare a place for you. Since I am going and preparing a place for you, I will return to take you with me; so that where I am, you may be also. AMEN!