AND NOW

Have you ever found yourself asking, “And Now What?”

That question can come up when life punches you in the gut. Perhaps when you’ve just lost your job, or when you’ve smashed up your car. It might arise when the COVID test comes back positive, or the pregnancy test. Or when the doctor delivers a diagnosis that is terminal.

The bottom line is that life is certain to dump situations upon us where the way forward is totally bleak. Times when we just lay our head in our hands and wonder, “Now What?”

Well, that’s the time when a relationship with Jesus will truly make all the difference. When you’ve come to the end of your strength and have nowhere to turn, you’d better have somewhere else to go.

I’m not talking about some mamby-pamby, phony “faith”in a nameless, faceless god (and the lower-case “g” there IS intentional!!) who has no power to impact the struggle — but a real, live, honest-to-God relationship with someone who loves you.

Today’s verse instructs us to
BE STRONG IN THE LORD, AND IN HIS MIGHTY POWER

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m NOT saying that if you’ll give your life to Jesus and ask Him to be your Lord that every problem, outstanding bill, sickness and disease will suddenly disappear, and when it’s raining on your neighbor it will be sunny at your house. If that were the case, we’d find the temptation to focus on the gift instead of the giver far too great.

What I am saying is that, since we are ALL going to face issues in life that are way beyond our strength and capacity, it’s far better to face them with Him. I don’t want to do life on my own terms, because there’s too many things I know nothing about. With all due respect to Frank Sinatra and his classic song “I Did It My Way,” I tried that — and made a hot mess of everything. I’ve sinned more times and in more ways than I can recall. You probably have, too. Actually, strike the word “probably.”

One of my friends had both of his feet amputated a few weeks ago. He’s finally home from the hospital, and learning to deal with the hoyer lift that moves him out of bed and into his electric wheelchair. He’s on daily kidney dialysis and in desperate need of a heart transplant. When we spoke yesterday, all he wanted was prayer for more strength. And he’s looking forward to being able to play a role leading worship services when his body will allow it. He knows that life’s battles are more than we can bear alone. He’s learned the secret of real victory.

BE STRONG IN THE LORD, AND IN HIS MIGHTY POWER

Being strong in the Lord requires that we make the decision to rely upon Him, and to do what He asks. THAT is where His mighty power gets displayed.

The famous preacher Charles Spurgeon gave an excellent illustration of how to be strong in the Lord. Our condition is like that of a child in a burning house, who escaped the flames by climbing out the window of his third floor room and clinging to the windowsill. He was hanging on for dear life, flames both pouring out of the window underneath and consuming his bedroom. It seemed that the poor lad would soon be burned, or would fall to the ground be dashed to pieces.

Then he heard the voice of a strong man who stood below him and said, “Drop, boy! Drop! I’ll catch you.”

It will not save the boy to believe that the man is strong. Knowing that may encourage him, but it has no real impact on the situation. He can know that and and still be consumed by the flames all around him. Faith is not KNOWLEDGE. Faith is ACTING on what we believe. It is faith when the boy lets go and drops down into the man’s arms.

Here we are, clinging to our sins or to our good works as if our lives aren’t in danger. Here we are facing our impossible situations as if we were smart enough to find our own way out of the flames. Jesus cries out, “Drop! Drop into my arms!”

The answer is not continuing to do all we can to hold on, it is leaving off doing all WE can and trusting what HE can do. The answer is not working to find our own way, it is trusting in that work which Jesus has already done. Trust! That is the word—simple, solid, hearty, earnest trust. Trust Jesus and He will make a way where there seems to be no way. When you and I put out trust in Jesus and ACT on it, that is faith.

BE STRONG IN THE LORD, AND IN HIS MIGHTY POWER

My bible tells me that He renews the strength of those who fall into His arms. They shall soar on His wings like eagles. They find new strength as His grace is renewed every morning. They run life’s race in His strength and do not grow weary. His strength, not ours. His all-sufficient grace catching us when we fall, holding us up.

There’s a worship song entitled, “Give Thanks.” If you can, you ought to listen to it. The chorus says, “And now let the weak say, ‘I am strong;’ Let the poor say, ‘I am rich because of what the Lord has done for me.'”

What do you say to the man who caught you as you fell from the windowsill? You give thanks. Heartfelt and grateful thanks. Because the answer is not us. When you’re clinging to the flaming windowsill, your education, your job and the size of your bank account do not matter. You need someone who can catch you as you fall.

I remember driving down the street one day and seeing dark, acrid smoke billowing into the sky from the next street over. My wife and I drove to the source, and found a house being engulfed in flames. Three people were on the lawn outside. I jumped out of the van as we pulled up, and asked if anyone was still inside. The father told me his daughter was still in her second floor bedroom, and pointed to the window. I pulled our van underneath her window, and climbed from the roof of the van to the ledge just under her window. I broke the locked window and shouted her name. I reached inside and felt all over the bed, but flames drove me back.

We were unable to save her. I remember standing next to her body in the emergency room and looking down at her face. It was too late for her; but it is NOT too late for you.

I do not know what situation you are facing today. But I do know the One who will walk through it with you. He’s saying, “Drop! I’ll catch you.”

And now what?

Now let the weak say, “I am strong.”
Now let the poor say, “I am rich because of what the Lord has done for me.”
Now be strong IN THE LORD, and in His mighty power.

Now – DROP !! He will catch you.

BE STRONG IN THE LORD, AND IN HIS MIGHTY POWER

Leave a Comment

Choose Your Language »