Psalm 3:1-6, 8 “O LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him’. But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn against me on every side. From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessings be on your people.”
Christmas is almost here, and Jesus-followers all over the world are in the season of Advent. We are expectant and reminded that Jesus, God incarnate, God who became flesh, God-Man, came down to this little speck of a rock we call earth and became a baby. Jesus, the Son of God, grew up and endured the same struggles and life questions that we ask today. Jesus can identify with our fears and our joys, and most importantly he came to bring us FULL LIFE, abundant life, not just eternal life. Too many times Jesus-followers can hyper-focus on eternal life, but we forget much of Jesus’ teaching focused on the here and now. How are we living abundantly in the present?
It can be hard to live abundantly in the present. There are many risks and fears that can be suffocating. “What I am going to wear? What does she say about me really? How am I going to afford next month’s rent? Do I really have a shot at getting that job?” Fear can be debilitating and hold us back from FULL LIFE. Just like the Psalmist, Jesus had a lot to say about worry and fear throughout the Gospels. Why? Because when we allow fear to rule our lives, we are saying God I don’t trust you. If we can’t trust God, then we can’t experience FULL LIFE. The Psalmist speaks of tens of thousands who are against him. I am thinking, this is the point in the story when you say, “I’m out of here.” Not the Psalmist, even though the odds are against him and the outlook for the day looks bleak, the Psalmist knows that his God is bigger than his circumstances and he can trust him. “From the LORD comes deliverance.”
Do you have any fears? Do they control part of your life, all of your life? Does fear cripple you from experiencing FULL LIFE? This could be something as simple, God has asked you to be generous with your money, give more, tithe more, but your fear of whether you’ll have enough to make ends meet at the end of the month stymies the opportunity to experience the joy of giving. Can’t we trust God to provide? If our almighty God could come down as a human, isn’t he powerful enough to provide for us? This Advent season, don’t allow fear to hold you back from God’s best, his FULL LIFE. Our God, our Lord and Savior Jesus is better than you think. You can trust him.
Psalm 4:6-8 “Many are asking, ‘Who can show us any good?’ Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”
Other Scripture readings:
Psalm 1, 2, 3, 4, 7
2 Peter 1:1-11
Throughout the Advent season we will be running devotions written by friends of the camp on the blog. Check back daily.