Do you ever get to a point when so much stress pours on you that you just laugh about it? This past Sunday, I was driving home on a rainy, dreary day, when suddenly, I had a car plow into the back of my truck. And two months ago, I had a spider bite that became so infected I wasn’t sure if my right leg was going to make it. It’s been a crazy year, and it’s only August! I don’t know how people do life without a belief in God.
Maybe it’s just me, but I think 2020 has gone out of its way to be challenging. It has been one thing after another, and I never seem to be on solid ground. The one thing I can count on is that stress and anxiety are a constant. Is this the new normal?
I could easily fall into that trap. I could wish and pray for things to return to normal, but to be truthful, this isn’t the first time that uncertainty has been a part of my life. I have faced challenges my entire life. We all have. And you know what? Here we stand. We’re still here. We’re still enduring and overcoming on a daily basis.
This week, as we take a spiritual journey together and grow in our faith, let’s remember the one constant we can depend on: God. Yes, we all want some normalcy back in our lives, but let’s be careful with what that means. Take a step back and examine what is motivating you—what’s pushing and pulling you through life? And be honest, if everything went back to normal and life was great, would your need for God remain as critical as it is today?
Lead Pastor Ben Snyder said it this way: “Your guide determines where you go.” Are you guided by the future, feelings, facts, fate, or faith? This week, it’s important that we take a deeper look at ourselves and uncover where we are putting our faith. Who is your guide? Who and what do you trust when life feels crushing?
My friends, as we reflect and memorize John 10:27-29, let us remember that God will provide. As Pastor Ben said, “A spiritual look back will provide a helpful view moving forward.”
Our lives are a testament to that. We’re here today. We have overcome before, and we will persevere again. God is the one constant we can consistently depend on, and he wants to guide us through our challenges today.
27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.”
How do you react to stress? Why?
In what or whom do you put your faith when life gets difficult? Yourself, someone, something, or God? Who is your guide?
With God as your guide, how can you approach difficult situations differently?
It’s important to take a step back, take a deep breath, and approach situations with wisdom and spiritual maturity. It’s easier said than done, but practice does make perfect. Today is the start to our church’s 21 Days of Prayer. I invite you to participate in this season of prayer. The daily prayer focus will be included in the LivingItOut each day and additional resources can be found at cedarcreek.tv/21days or on the CedarCreek App.
21 Days of Prayer: God to be Known (Day 1):
Dear God, give me eyes to see and ears to hear on a daily basis where you are calling me to share the great hope we have in you. May I not be ashamed of your gospel, but may I be bold in proclaiming to all creation the good news that you are the way, the truth, and the life.
This post was written by Mike Bilik. Mike is a father to 3 amazing daughters and one awesome son. Spare time is rare, but given the opportunity, you are likely to find him with friends hiking, hunting, or fishing.
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