Are You Free Yet? Part 8

They aren’t Republicans, Liberals or Independents.

They can see the world inside the world.

One dark and ominous night during World War II, a US aircraft carrier was plowing through heavy seas in the South Pacific. All lights were out because of enemy submarines. One plane was missing. Somewhere in that pitch-black sky it was circling in a seemingly futile search for the carrier—its only landing place, its only hope of not being swallowed up by the giant ocean. The ship’s captain, knowing the terrible risk involved, gave the order, “Light up the ship.” Soon the plane zoomed onto the deck like a homing pigeon.

At Bethlehem, knowing the risk, God gave the command, “Light up the world.” Then Jesus was born. A new and radiant light began to shine, pushing back the darkness of the world, of spiritual ignorance, and of sin and despair. Like a ship lit up in an otherwise darkened sea of sinful humanity, Christ came as “the light of the world” (John 8:12). John wrote, “The darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining” (1 John 2:8). When Jesus the Savior entered this world, it was like the sunrise breaking radiantly over the horizon of human history (Luke 1:78-79).

In fathomless grace, God allowed His Son to die on the cross to save us from eternal darkness.

They can be still as the water.

Few things (if anything at all) in this fallen world can be called perfect. But God promises to keep us in “perfect peace” if we keep our minds focused on Him and continue trusting Him (Isaiah 26:3).

Have you ever had those moments in your life where you truly felt you were in your element, at peace?

They make scared people very uncomfortable and nervous with their refusal to follow the panicked rhythms of socially acceptable conversation.

So why do we find it so difficult to trust the Lord God? Often, it’s because we’re afraid that things won’t go as we want them to unless we control them ourselves. The less we are in control, the more anxious and worried we become.

Author Hannah Whitall Smith wrote, “It is not hard, you find, to trust the management of the universe, and of all the outward creation, to the Lord. Can your case then be so much more complex and difficult than these, that you need to be anxious or troubled about His management of you?”

We often think our situation is too difficult for God.

They are not clutching their possessions, pleasures, or personality.

Six armed gunmen broke into the deposit boxes in a London bank and stole valuables worth more than $7 million. One woman, whose jewelry was appraised at $500,000, wailed, “Everything I had was in there. My whole life was in that box.”

The greatest danger in becoming too closely identified with our possessions lies in the spiritual area of life. An unhealthy attachment to material things can keep an unsaved person from turning to Christ and prevent a believer from living for Him. The story of the rich young ruler forcefully illustrates this truth. Jesus’ words “You cannot serve God and [money]” (Matt. 6:24) certainly apply to us all.

They are so compelling, so alive.

The great 16th-century theologian Martin Luther once experienced a long period of worry and despondency. One day his wife dressed in black mourning clothes.

“Who has died?” asked Luther.

“God,” said his wife.

“God!” said Luther, horrified. “How can you say such a thing?”

She replied, “I’m only saying what you are living.”

We too live as if God were dead. When we are discouraged, we can turn to the Psalms. Some of the writers faced bleak and barren times, but they had one habit in common that kept them from being soured: giving thanks to God. For example, David wrote, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing . . . . O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever” (Psalm 30:11-12).

Meeting every situation with thanksgiving isn’t a denial of trouble. It helps us see those situations from God’s perspective—as opportunities to discover His power and love.

Give me the strength to die well.

The Son of God upon the cross, did die by the violence of the pain he was put to. His soul was separated from his body, and so his body was left really and truly dead. It was certain that Christ did die, for it was needful that he should die. He had undertaken to make himself an offering for sin, and he did it when he willingly gave up his life. (Mt 27:51-56).

He suffered greatly and defended his position with grace and love and kindness.

Are You Free Yet? Part I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII

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