Where does our 21st Century culture tell us to place our confidence? Some people say that we need to be confident in our own abilities and in our own self. Some people want us to place our ultimate confidence in education, or in science and new technology. Others place their confidence in their possessions or job security. I would suggest that God’s Word tells us that it is only through the resources that God can provide to us, that we can live our lives with confidence and experience true peace in the middle of the storms of life.
One of my favorite things to do here at FCS is to ask our staff and faculty for testimonies of what God has done for them in their life and in their ministry here at school. Sometimes their testimony reflects how God has used something that has been said in a classroom in the life of a student or other times a testimony is of how God has faithfully answered a prayer in a very difficult time in their life. It is always encouraging to know that God works in our lives, and even though we experience the storms of life, He is still in control. Sometimes it even seems as if God is far away, and it is then that the testimony someone shares with us about their own experience reminds us that God is still at work and still cares for us. I never cease to be amazed at how faithful the Lord is in my own life, and no matter what comes my way, I can place my confidence in Him.
When Peter wrote his letters to the churches, he addressed the letters to “strangers in the world.” In other words he was saying to them, I’m writing to you at a temporary address. I Peter 1:3-5 says, “Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade, kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” Our faith in God, through His Son Jesus offers us hope not provided by all of the so-called “great” religions of the world. The truth is, the only hope offered by Islam, Judaism, or even New Age theology is based on what can be accomplished in one’s human lifetime. It is temporary hope at best because it requires a finite being to do something that is supernatural. It is in fact, no hope at all. The confidence we have in our faith in Jesus Christ is that He is the source of our hope for not only the present, but also for the future. Our Christian faith is so different from the religions of the world because believers are ultimately protected from death and promised life with Jesus in heaven for eternity. Peter went on to say in I Peter 1:8, “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with inexpressible and glorious joy.” Our joy is not based on our circumstances of life, because as human beings with endless trials and tribulations, we would be no different than the rest of the world. Our joy is based on the power of God who has demonstrated His great love to us through Jesus, and our hope and confidence is entirely in the hands of the Almighty God, the Creator of the universe.
A recent song by Ryan Stephenson, which expresses our trust in God through the storms in our life, says it this way:
When the solid ground is falling out, from underneath my feet,
Between the black skies and my red eyes, I can barely see
And when I’m feeling like I’ve been let down by my friends and my family, I can hear the rain reminding me
When my hopes and dreams are far from me, and I’m running out of faith
I see the future I pictured slowly fade away
And when the tears of pain and heartache are pouring down my face
I find my peace in Jesus’ name
In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm
May we always find our peace in Jesus,
In the Eye of the Storm Ryan Stevenson & Bryan Fowler, Ambient Digital. ©2015 Gotee Records