This message was preached by Colin DCruz via zoom at Word Of Grace Church on January 10th 2021. for the audio please click here. TO listen to the worship please click here
We are living in very challenging times. We saw the COVID become a pandemic and we hoped that things would get better over time, but there has been no respite. The death toll has been devastating. Whole industries have shut down, businesses have come to a grinding halt or reduced significantly! Millions have been rendered jobless. In 2021, we are still in unchartered territory. Fear can grip us because of health and economic needs. IN the midst of all that is happening, I want to share how to anchor our lives in Christ.
Heb 6:19- 20 “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” The hope is in verse 14 – I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.
The full prophetic word was in Gen 22 which concerns us, because we are the descendants of Abraham. It anchored Abraham’s life in turbulent waters. Without an anchor, a ship can drift or crash against the rocks. The anchor keeps it safe.
In this stormy waters, where is our anchor? It is in the word of God. So we will look at some promises in the word that will be our anchor. Let’s pray.
Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
This Psalm is about the goodness of the Lord to us. Come to this Psalm when you are anxious, worried, fearful, etc.
1. God’s goodness is there for us: Psalm 139 talks about God’s involvement in our life.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
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.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
There are angels watching over your life. God is watching over you. It does not mean bad things don’t happen to us. But even though bad things happen, God will work it out for good. Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose”
2. His mercy / loving-kindness follows us: His mercy is when God doesn’t give us what we deserve. Jesus died in our place so God can have mercy over us. Goodness relates to his provision, mercy relates to his pardon. We need mercy all the time.
Eph 2:4-5 “4 But[c] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved”
Micah 7: 18 “Who is a
God like you, pardoning iniquity
and passing over transgression
for the remnant of his inheritance?
He does not retain his anger forever,
because he delights in steadfast love.
He will again have compassion on us;
he will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea”
God is not mad at you. He is mad about you.
Exodus 34: 6 “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,”
When we commit a mistake, we need to run to God. The confidence is in what He has done. God loves to show mercy and his nature is good.
The Lord is my shepherd. And behind the sheep are two sheep-dogs, goodness and mercy. IN the midst of all the uncertainty, His goodness and mercy follow us ALL the days of our lives.
3. Dwell in the house of the Lord forever: People fear death more than anything! If you have put your trust in Jesus, there is no fear of death. Our eternal destiny is settled. Death is just a doorway into resurrection life. Jesus is preparing something beautiful for those who love Him.
All the things that plague us on earth will no longer be there in heaven. As Christians we need to focus on heaven. We need to have a long term plan, knowing our future is secure in Jesus. Heaven is the place where God dwells. It is filled with the glory of God. What we see is just a glimpse of what His glory is. No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him. We need to be a people who are anchoring our lives in heaven. No one can take that away from you. Romans 8: 18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
What were Pauls Troubles? 2 Corinthians 11:23-33“with far greater labours, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.”
Whatever trouble you have this morning, it is light and momentary compared to the riches of heaven. Even being martyred is no big thing. Phil 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Let us be a people who love heaven.
How shall we respond to this?
1. Be grateful:
When we look around and see how blessed we are; we need to be grateful to God. This is the antidote to fear. Write down on a journal the things we are grateful for.
Hebrews 12:28 “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe”.
Let us be a people who not only receive but give freely.
3. Be gracious and merciful to others:
Eph 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” Don’t hold on to grudges but extend forgiveness and grace.
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love”
4. We are living for God’s glory:
When our mind is focused on doing good deeds, we are bringing glory to God.
When we are anchored to these things, we are steady through the storms of this life.