Three Things To Consider As Follower's of Christ As Florence Approaches.

     As this storm continues to approach many are worried. Rightfully so. But as followers of Christ, we must take comfort in the Word of God. As followers of Jesus, I want to give you three things to consider as this storm approaches:

1. Be concerned. Not worried.
      Believe it or not, there is a difference. Worry is to torment yourself with cares, anxieties and disturbing thoughts (dictionary.com), while concern is is to take interest into the things that effect you, but does not interfere with one's peace of mind. With this hurricane approaching I would like to encourage you to be concerned but not worried.

   Jesus instructs His followers to not worry. He states in Matthew 6:25 "do not be anxious about your life." Why would Jesus give us such a statement?

1. Jesus instructs us that if the Father takes care of the birds of the air and lilies of the field, how much more so will the Father take care of us. (Matt. 6:26-28)

2. Jesus instructs us not to worry because it demonstrates "little faith" (Matt. 6:30).

3. Jesus tell's us that the Father knows the things we need. (Matt. 6:32).

    What should we do then? In the words of Christ, we should continue to "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness" (6:33a). Even with this storm approaching we must continue to make God's kingdom a priority in our lives. When we do, here is the promise of God - "all these things will be added to you." (6:33b) When we make the kingdom of Jesus a priority for our lives everything we need in our lives are provided to us. Do not worry. God will give us what we need through this hurricane as we continue to make His kingdom a priority. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is it's own trouble." (6:34)

   However, I understand our tendency to worry. If you do find yourself being weighed down by anxiousness, do this:
1. Cast your burden on God.
"Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved." - Ps. 55:22

2. Humble yourself to God, then, cast your worries on Him.
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:6,7

3. Praise & Pray.
"Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS; again I will say, rejoice....do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with THANKSGIVING let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Phil. 4:4,6 & 7


2. God is Sovereign.
    In addition to the other reasons I give you not to worry, I want to make an additional point; a point all to it's own. I want you to understand that God is Sovereign. What that means is that there are none but Him (Isa. 46:9,10) & that the heavens and the earth are His (1 Chron. 29:11,12). This storm that approaches the east coast is not unnoticed by God.

     In fact God knew about this storm before our satellite ever picked it up. God knew about this storm since the beginning of creation. He knew you and I would be facing this day. How do I know that? Psalm 139. Psalm 139:16 states, "Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." God has ordained everyone of your days before you existed. He knew these day's would come.

  That implies one thing: God has a purpose in everything. Wisdom tells us in Prov. 16:4 "The LORD has made everything for its purpose." If this is true then, God does everything and allows everything for a reason. And He does what He pleases, "Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps"(Ps. 135:6). No one can stop Him from what He pleases to do, "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted" (Job 42:2). Nor can we say to God "what have you done?" (Dan. 4:35) But if there is a purpose, even in this hurricane, it helps to know that God is in control of it.

   I do want to give you this promise however in the will of God - He works all things together for good. Paul tell's us this, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28) Though God does everything for a purpose, and has the right to do so, He works everything for the good of the righteous. He can even use a hurricane for our good! I instructed you to pray if worried, how should you pray?

3. Pray for His will to be done.
    If it is true that God is Sovereign and that He has purpose in everything, including natural disaster's. I would remind you, He used natural disaster's in Egypt in the days Israel was captive to them. How should we pray?
 
  My mind goes to Jesus. While at the Mount of Olives just before He has handed over to the Roman soldiers He prayed. What did He pray? He prayed "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done. (Luke 22:42). Jesus knew the Father does everything for a purpose, including the death of His only Son. Jesus knew that the Father could change everything if He pleased. But Jesus also surrendered to the decision of the Father, whatever it should be.

  Therefore, as followers of Christ, we must do the same. We should pray, 'Father, if you are willing, remove this hurricane from us. Nevertheless, not our will, but yours, be done.' I know that our will is to have this storm removed and go unaffected. We must understand, the ways of God are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts (Isa. 55:8). We do not understand all that God does nor why He allows what He does but we must know, by faith, that He does everything to accomplish His purposes. As a result, we must pray for His will to be done, for His will is good. Stay faithful.

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