When the railroads were first introduced to the U.S., some folks feared that they’d be the downfall of the nation! Here’s an excerpt from a letter to then President Jackson dated January 31, 1829:
As you may know, Mr. President, ‘railroad’ carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles (24.14km) per hour by ‘engines’ which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed. Martin Van Buren Governor of New York.
Since then, we have seen the cars that go over 5 times faster, trains at over 10 times the original speed than 1829, and planes at over 40 times faster than the first train.
We live in a world that is constantly changing, I remember back in the late 90’s when the Motorola cell phone (yes the block) was the in thing, but times have changed, the world has changed, we now have computers that fit in our hands, cooked food that is available at your beck and call. In an ever-changing world there needs to be something in our lives that remain constant. The realty that we face right now, is that the world has changed, everywhere you look and listen to what people say, the talk is about the new normal.
Today, how does an ever-changing world, affect us and our relationship with Jesus, and I specifically want to mention the name Jesus, because in the day and age we live in where it’s all about religious tolerance and talk of all gods are the same, and all roads lead to heaven, we need to understand that there is only one God, one Saviour and that is Jesus Christ. The bible tells us specifically and Jesus himself says it, “I am the way the truth and the Life, no man comes to the father except through me”.
This has always been and always will be the truth – Jesus Christ never changes, this should be the constant factor that we cling onto, our hope and our future.
Malachi 3:6 (NLT)
“I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.
1. An uncertain world
When the year 2020 started, the phrase 2020 – year of plenty was the new thing, it became the catch phrase, that had gripped the world, despite where we were in life and our current situations, the world rallied around this slogan, maybe as some sort of hope that the year would be a blessed one, a year of breakthrough and prosperity. This all changed within the blink of an eye.
Three months into 2020 and the world was plunged into chaos, as an unseen enemy took control and unleashed havoc, havoc that we still find to this day still taking place. The realty friends is that the world we live in is uncertain, it is full of change and things that can happen when we least expect it. Our lives can be plunged into chaos within any moment.
Over the last year, we have seen people loose loved ones, friends, families left in despair, entire families wiped out. I look at the chaos that has gripped America, the storming of the Capital Building, friends we are living in unprecedented times.
The bible speaks about such times that we live in, the bible calls it dangerous and perilous times, a time when men will be lover of money and pleasure, ungodly, lacking self-control. I personally never imagined the day when the church doors would be closed, when it would be a crime to even have fellow brothers and sister come together in fellowship, spending time together in prayer in worship. It’s like I am living out the movie “left behind”.
But the one thing that we must understand is that the Bible speaks about days such as this.
Luke 21:25-26 (AMP)
25 “There will be signs (attesting miracles) in the sun and moon and stars; and on the earth [there will be] distress and anguish among nations, in perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting from fear and expectation of the [dreadful] things coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Matthew 24:7-8 (GW)
7 Nation will fight against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All of these are only the beginning pains of the end
Often, we become swayed by the changing times, we want to adapt our lives and our lifestyles to the changing world, I hear many times that things are not the way it used to be, especially when it comes to discipline and the way we behave, we have become a society that is moved by the world around us. We become so engulfed by what is happening, that we believe that if we do not conform to this then we would be missing out.
Matthew 24:12 (GW)
12 And because there will be more and more lawlessness, most people’s love will grow cold.
As the world changes, and the ideologies and the things that the world changes to, we can so easily find ourselves dancing to the tune of the world, because of fear and because we want to be able to move with the crowd and so we lose the essence of who we are in Christ, our environment begins to shape us, and we are no longer being shaped by our maker.
You see when we change our certainty in the kingdom of God, for the uncertainty of the world we live in, then we are telling God, I do not need you, my circle of friends in the world can do much more for me than you can. And at this point in life, this is not the place to be in, friends.
2. Worship amidst uncertainty
When chaos hits our lives and trouble seems to be moving in from every direction, the one thing that we should never stop doing, and never stop focusing on is that of worship unto God. Worship should never be based upon our circumstances and season of life that we find ourselves in.
Hillsong’s Desert Song – reminds us today of this important fact that no matter where we are God is still to be worshipped.
All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship
Our reason to worship God should never be about feeling and emotions, but it should always be about the central fact that Jesus is God, and the fact that he is God should be the ultimate reason why we worship & praise him.
Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Often, during uncertainty and chaos and difficult moments, man tends to replace God with something that is easily controllable. We see this with the nation of Israel, when Moses was on the mountain with God, and the people of Israel asked Aaron to make for them a God, they wanted something that was tangible, something they could see and touch that they could worship.
What God expects of us is to trust him fully, to be totally dependent on him. Two men in the bible give us an indication of what we ought to be doing during the most difficult moments in life.
- Job – He had come to a point in his life where he had lost everything, so much so, that his wife questioned, him:
Job 2:9 (AMP)
Then his wife said to him, “Do you still cling to your integrity [and your faith and trust in God, without blaming Him]? Curse God and die!”
This was a pivotal moment in the life of Job, all he had left was his wife, and here she comes and tells Job – What is wrong with you man, how can you still trust God, this God that has done this to you, this God that has ripped you to shreds and has left you with nothing, why would you still hold on and trust and serve God – and then she slams the final “nail in the coffin” – curse God & die. In essence what she was saying – God is to blame, you should not bother praising God, you should not bother trusting God, he does not deserve it.
Look at Jobs response to his wife:
Job 2:10 (AMP)
10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the [spiritually] foolish women speaks [ignorant and oblivious to God’s will]. Shall we indeed accept [only] good from God and not [also] accept adversity and disaster?” In [spite of] all this Job did not sin with [words from] his lips.
Job 1:20 (AMP)
20 Then Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head [in mourning for the children], and he fell to the ground and worshiped [God].
- David – he faced may difficulties, many challenges and uncertainties in his life, from Goliath to Saul, to the battles against the pagan nations. Yet, David learned that through all of life’s difficulties and challenges God is still deserving of praise and worship.
Psalm 63:1-4 (ESV)
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
David, while in the wilderness, a moment in his life when it was not going so well, when he was running for his life, yet in the midst of the desert that surrounded him, his heart was still focused on God. David never had the temple to go to but that did not stop him from worshipping and praising God.
David in this Psalm, speaks about three things:
- God being his God, despite him being in the wilderness, in uncertain times,
- His soul thirsts after God, he earnestly seeks God,
- Because of Gods steadfast love, he will praise him and bless his name
What a lesson from the life of David – he is in the wilderness and he is still praising God, for his steadfast love.
That is what we are called to do. Things might be difficult, life might be not what you expected, but God is still on the throne, he is sill God and he still loves you and that I am sure of today.
3. The Certainty of Jesus
Jesus is our only hope. Jesus is our rock. In the middle of the lockdown, in the middle of a pandemic, God is still in control. I want to encourage you today as you read this, Trust in God, continue to worship and praise him, no matter where you might find yourself.
Matthew 6:33-34 (NKJV)
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Focus on Jesus, this is not the time to become lukewarm and complacent, it is not the time to backslide, it is not the time to take your eyes of Jesus.
Peter took his eyes of Jesus for a split second and he was engulfed by the circumstances of his surroundings, one second is all the enemy needs and he will have you hooked.
We have hope today, our hope lies in the cross, it lies on the fact that Jesus died, he rose again, and he is coming back. The only thing that I know with 100% certainty, is that Jesus is the way the truth and the life, and unless we surrender our lives full to him, we will always live-in fear and doubt, worry and anxiety. We will always be looking to the world for a solution when our solution is Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords.
The word of God guarantees me this:
Philippians 2:9-11 (NKJV)
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name, which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Those that reject Christ will one day bow their knee to him, and I want to encourage you today, serve God worship him, live for him while you still have the opportunity and the breath of life. We see so many deaths around us, tomorrow is never guaranteed, do not wait until tomorrow to surrender you heart to Jesus Christ. For unless a man is born again, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
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