Thursday, February 23, 2017

Conflicts and Fears

For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn – conflicts on the outside, fears within.” 2 Co 7:5.

Have you ever had to communicate a message of correction with someone you love? In today’s times, it can be through phone, email or text (according to which generation is on the receiving end). Until we hear back from them our minds can gnaw on our words like a bone. Did we come across judgmental?  Did we wound them with our words? We reread our email or text a million times, conjuring up scenarios as a result of our message. Usually, within a day or two we get their response back and we finally have our answer. Most of the time, the things we create in our mind are much worse than what actually plays out. So, you can only imagine the weariness Paul felt having to wait a long time to understand the feelings of the Corinthians after his letter of correction. He had to wait until he met up with Titus who knew how they felt. Were they mad? Did they hate him? Did he lose their approval and compassion? He had no rest in his spirit over this and feared he had lost many people whom he loved by his gentle honesty. Thankfully the next 5 words happened, ‘But God, who comforts the downcast…comforted us’ 2 Co 7:6. Finally, his rest and peace came and he knew who was responsible… God.

No matter how long we must wait in whatever situation we face, we can be confident that God is working miraculously and faithfully in our wait. He is churning hearts and revealing attitudes that are required in our relational experiences. The people in our lives were placed there by God to both bless and teach us, all the while transforming our hearts and our character. 

How many of us are awaiting a response from someone in our lives, creating such fear and conflict in our hearts? How many times a day are we checking our phones and computers just waiting for resolution in any given situation? We toss and turn at night…we lack concentration during the day… we believe in the worst instead of hoping for the best. We must retrain our brain to live Colossian 3 lives. We will experience the peace of God when we focus on the spiritual things instead of the earthly things. These spiritual things tell us that God’s timing is perfect…His plan is better than any other…His motivation will always be grounded in love. This focus on the spiritual things will bring about the confidence that God is in control when everything is chaotic. If we are going to allow our hearts and minds to churn…let us churn over the things that God offers.

“…set your heart on the things above, where Christ is...Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1-2.

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