All of us have our sights set on something. Maybe it’s to make more money. Maybe it’s to be more successful. Maybe it’s to find as much comfort as we possibly can. But how often do we set our sights on Christ?
Christians are not promised health, wealth, and prosperity on this earth. Instead, the Bible says that Christians are going to suffer as they pilgrim through this life. Peter writes, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Pt. 4:12-13 ESV).
I’ve been writing articles since November 27, 2014. But I’ve never written an article with a wedding band on my finger. A lot can change in six years. I’m thankful.
I get overwhelmed pretty easily.
Most of the time, I don’t handle this feeling of being stressed out so well. I have a tendency to shut down. Block out everything and leave things to be dealt with later. As you can imagine, this only creates more stress for myself.
I’m in a season of life right now with a lot of planning and a lot of change. These are all good things. Great things actually. But this is a recipe for stress in my life.
How do you handle overwhelming situations?
We all recite the verse that says, “When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2 NKJV).
But we tend to leave it at that. We never look at the beginning of this Psalm. Or, at least, I never did.
“Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to you, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:1-2 NKJV).
After reading this, I stopped all of my “self-help” tricks (running, yoga, Netflix binges, etc.), and I sat on my bed and prayed. Next, I picked up my Bible.
This has been my morning routine ever since. Even more so in seasons of great stress.
“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ Or ‘What shall we drink?’ Or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:30-33 ESV).
I love this passage.
After reading these verses, we can rest in the fact that God knows exactly what our needs are.
I used to do things backwards. I would worry, try to figure things out myself, worry some more, go for a run, and THEN take it to God.
I have found a way that saves me a lot of steps and a lot of worry.
I’ve not perfected it by any means. I still worry.
But I have found that I worry less when I first read the words of a God who already has it all figured out.
The story of Esther unfolds in a kingdom—the Persian Empire of King Ahasuerus. And as followers of Christ, we exist for a King and His eternal Kingdom.
This week, we read how Esther is prepared for her one-night stand with King Ahasuerus. We read how she presents herself to the king. And how he throws a celebration in her honor.
But we belong to a Kingdom with a better King named Jesus Christ. So, with that in mind, let’s see how we experience a better preparation, presentation, and celebration than Esther.