Peace. Authority. Hope.

These are words that I am speaking today with our family. These are not direct quotations, but rather Scripture turned into confessions.

Peace. What you meditate on you magnify. What you magnify will move you.

  • I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
  • You are the One who formed us; We will not fear, for You have redeemed us; You have called us by name, we are Yours. (Isaiah 43:1)
  • You command Your angels concerning us to keep us in all our ways. (Psalm 91:11)
  • But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory and the lifter of my head. (Psalm 3:3)

Authority. Use your words.

  • We are of God and we overcome, for greater is He that is in me than than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
  • I take the shield of faith and with faith in Jesus I quench all the fiery darts of the evil one against me. (Ephesians 6:16)
  • In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything in all of creation – not even a hurricane – will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)

Hope. Eyes on Jesus, who took the Cross, then beat the grave.

  • Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us today … and He WILL deliver us … But if not, we still refuse to bow to fear and anxiety because our hope is in the name of Jesus. (Daniel 3:17-18)
  • I have been raised with Christ, so I seek the things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. I set my mind on things above, not on things of earth. (Colossians 3:1-2)
  • I love you O Lord my strength. You are my Rock and my Fortress and my Deliverer, my God, my Rock, in whom I take refuge, my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, my Stronghold. I call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. (Psalm 18:1-3)

Hurricane Hysteria

All eyes are glued on Irma.

There’s nothing quite like walking through the water bottle aisle during a hurricane threat. People who have lived on coffee and sodas for years suddenly become obsessed with H2O. Hysteria.

I get it. I have eight children. I have a family to protect. And I am tempted to go check the weather reports every 10 minutes like the rest of the world.

But it doesn’t work.

God made us for peace – even during a hurricane season. We’re not wired to thrive in the hysteria of anxiety, fear, and doom. Don’t get me wrong, an adrenaline rush of fear just might save your backside from an approaching lion, or tiger, or bear. But we humans have proven that we don’t quite know when to say when to our anxiety. And we don’t process information very well through this emotion. That’s where Jesus comes in.

Christians don’t deny danger; we just go to God first. Because whatever you meditate on, you magnify. And whatever you magnify will move you. So if you spend the majority of your waking day meditating on the weather report, you will magnify the weather. And the weather will move your heart – for better or worse. But if you find a way to do what David suggested –  meditate on God’s word day and night – then you will discover what David promised: blessing. Peace. Strength. (Read Psalm 1.) Imagine what would happen if kids saw parents who turned to the promises of God as often as they turned to the latest update on a hurricane named Irma. Imagine what would happen if the state of Florida watched people so controlled by God’s peace that they were freed to serve and share and help. Because we know God has our back.

Followers of Jesus do not act like threats are not real; we just look at those threats in the light of God’s hope, not the darkness of human fear.

I just came out of a conference call with the emergency staff of our county. The reports from the National Hurricane Center are alarming. There are very real measures to take. Shelters are filling up, streets need to be cleared, preparations need to be made. Cell phones need to be charged, valuables made watertight, and houses secured. Do it.

But do it in hope. Paul told the Thessalonians that on one hand we are just like everybody else: we grieve. Yet when we grieve we do NOT do it just like everybody else; we do it in hope. When we buy our bread, we do it in hope. When we line up for gas, we do it in hope. And when we look at the weather report, we do it in hope. And just maybe, we can shine in such a way that onlookers ask for a reason for the hope inside of us.

Because we have a Shepherd. He is sovereign. And we are not orphans.

Eyes on Jesus.

 

3 words I’m using to respond to this hurricane.