Stan Toler in his book, God Has Never Failed Me Before tells the story of a French soldier in WWI who used to carry a little card with him to help him overcome worry… with the following words; “Of two things one is certain, either you are at the front, or you are behind the enemy lines. If you are at the front of two things, one is certain. Either you are exposed o dangers, or you are in a safe place. If you are exposed to danger, of two things, one is certain. Either you are wounded, or you are not wounded. If you are wounded, of two things, one is certain. Either you recover, or you die. If you recover, there is no need to worry. If you die, you cannot worry. SO WHY WORRY???”
One man who was drowning in problems said, “I’ve got so many troubles that if anything bad happens to me today, it’ll be two weeks before I can worry about it”
It’s so easy for us to worry, fret, and stew over things that we have no control of. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati found that eight-five percent (yes – 85%) of what we worry about never happens. Moreover, the study found that 79% of us handle the 15% that does happen in ways that surprise us with our ability to turn the situation around.
It’s like what Mark Twain once said, “My life has been filled with calamities, some of which actually happened.”
God encourages us in His Word to not be anxious. “Don’t worry,” He says, “I’ve got this.” Luke 12:22-32 covers a lot of ground for the worrywart. Take no thought for what you shall eat or wear. But notice how Jesus doesn’t just tell the disciples that and leave them but promises them in Luke 12:32 to fear (there’s that worry) not, it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. We are worried about what we are going to eat and wear, Jesus says, “Why worry about that, I’ve got a kingdom for you. An eternal kingdom that won’t fade away, that can’t be taken away.”
In my opinion that makes the things we worry about look pretty small. So small that why should I worry about them, why not let God handle them for me.
This is an article I wrote for the Flaming Sword several years ago, I found it and wanted to share it on the blog. Isn’t it wonderful we have a RISEN SAVIOR!!!
Have you ever been in an empty house or a room without any furniture? Everything you say seems to echo. Travis and Corey, my two son’s, enjoy yelling as loudly as they can in the large shopping mall’s open areas, just so they can hear the echo. Often as a child I would sing or holler loudly to hear it echo off the woods and hills around where I lived. There is something about an echo that grabs your attention, and makes you listen. An echo is a strange phenomenon that is caused when sound bounces off of objects. Sound travels about 300 meters a second that is approximately 984 feet. That is fast. A really good echo will return after several seconds. Smooth rocks echo well like those found in caves. Being enclosed almost all sounds will echo in a cave or tunnel. How that must have echoed in that empty tomb as the angel asked those poor, mournful, weeping, confused women, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” How it must have reverberated in that empty tomb as those angels said excitedly “HE IS NOT HERE FOR HE IS RISEN” Oh how that tomb resounds in victory. “He is not here for He is risen.” He’s alive and well and all that remains are the grave clothes and blood stains. He has atoned for Adams fallen race. “The English word “atonement” comes from two words “at onement” and denotes a state of togetherness and agreement between two people” according to the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery.
Hear the echo of the empty tomb as it shouts out the good news;
“FULFILLMENT” PAID IN FULL The price is paid. I don’t think this truth fully impacted those poor women that day, but there came a day when suddenly the light dawned upon them. I like to think that one day when they were in the upper room praying and waiting on God prior to Pentecost, someone stood to their feet and began to read that beautiful prophesy in Isaiah 53:4-6 “Surely he hath borne our grief’s, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Perhaps Cleopas began to expound upon what was read, how that Jesus, when He was walking with them on the road to Emmaus even though they did not know it was him, “expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”Maybe Cleopas went on to explain that God had laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all meant that, Jesus carried our sins to the cross, he fulfilled God’s demands for a sacrifice. We cannot give anything to secure our salvation, it’s already paid. HALLELUJAH! Sing it louder than the noise of the war and strife, sing it louder than the clamor of the world. Sing it louder than the falling stock market and financial crisis. Let it ring from shore to shore. The debt for your sins is paid in full.
Jesus cried aloud from the cross, “It is finished.” He has won the battle, he is victorious. His sacrifice is accepted. He has fulfilled it all. Listen to it echo down through the corridors of history, past all of the charlatans and wolves in sheep’s clothing and thieves and robbers who tried to come another way. “I am the door, no man can come to the Father but by me,” and again, “I came not to destroy the law but to fulfill.” How that tomb echoes with fulfillment.
The tomb also echos in, FORGIVENESS – From the cross Jesus cried, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” In His last agonizing hours, Jesus softly spoke those words to the thief on his side, “This day be with me in Paradise.” Now as He steps from the tomb with the blood of THE LAMB to ascend to the Holy of Holies in Heaven, one thing is in mind to present Himself before the Father, to, as Charles Wesley wrote, “He ever lives above for me to intercede; His all redeeming love, His precious blood to plead. His blood atoned for all our race, And sprinkles now the throne of grace. Five bleeding wounds he bears, received on Calvary; They pour effectual prayers, They strongly plead for me. “Forgive him, Oh, forgive,” they cry. “Forgive him, oh, forgive,” they cry. “Nor let that ransomed sinner die.”
The tomb echoes and reechoes with the beautiful song of grace and forgiveness. Is it any wonder Mary fell at his feet, or that Thomas cried, “My Lord and My God” or Peter somewhere between Calvary and Pentecost found that forgiveness and could rise and preach under the powerful anointing of the Holy Ghost, “This is that…” Acts 2:16, and “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21) What a promise those who will call on His name will find forgiveness.
Listen to the tomb as it echo with FREEDOM – Jesus declared, “ I am the way the Truth and the Life,” in another place it is written, “You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.” That leads us to a rather logical conclusion. To be free you must know the Truth, and oh what freedom he brings. The songwriter put it to music this way, “Glorious Freedom wonderful freedom, no more in chains of sin I repine. Jesus the glorious Emancipator, now and forever, He shall be mine.” Is it any wonder that John Newton when he found Jesus the resurrected Savior he sat down and penned those immortal words. “Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now I’m found was blind but now I see.” Jesus had given him freedom real freedom. Jesus gives us that kind of freedom, freedom from sin and carnality. Freedom hear it echo, listen to the sound from those who were bound but now are free, really free. Jesus was freed from the bounds of the grave clothes. He was loosed from them, death had lost it’s grip upon our Lord. HE WAS FREE. He wants to give us the same freedom.
For neatly two thousand years that tomb has echoed and will echo forever in victory and triumph over the world the flesh and the Devil. Hallelujah! It has brought fulfillment forgiveness and freedom to a lost and dying world, it has given us the hope of everlasting life with Christ, the one who emptied the tomb, and let it’s joyous shouts echo for eternity. Listen to the echo from the empty tomb.
Watch this video of the Talley Trio as they sing “He’s Alive” written by Don Francisco.
While this song is from last year, I think it is still relevant to us today. I think every once in a while we need a reminder that no matter what may be going on in our lives, we have no reason to turn back. There is nothing to go back for. I think of the time Jesus was talking to his followers and disciples and so many of them turned their backs on Him and walked away. Jesus turned to those closest to him and asked, “will you also go?” And their reply was so profound and revealing of their true desperate dependence on Him, “To whom else can we go, Thou has the Words of Life!!!” John 6:60-71 Truly no matter what we are facing there is nothing worth going back for. I’ve got no reason to quit. Watch the Mayle Family at IHC 2013 from Holiness Online
Is there anything you are afraid of? I mean really afraid of? Not just a little bothered by something but I mean really really afraid? It is human nature to be afraid to have phobias and fears.
Here are some interesting numbers according to statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health and posted by Statistic Brain
Fear and Worry Statistics
Percent of things feared that will never take place
Percent of things feared that happened in the past and can’t be changed
Percent of things feared that are considered to be insignificant issues
Percent of things feared in relation to health that will not happen
Number of Americans who have a diagnosed phobia
Percent of US Population
Fear of public speaking – Glossophobia
Fear of death – Necrophobia
Fear of spiders – Arachnophobia
Fear of darkness – Achluophobia, Scotophobia or Myctophobia
Fear of heights – Acrophobia
Fear of people or social situations – Sociophobia
Fear of flying – Aerophobia
Fear of confined spaces – Claustrophobia
Fear of open spaces – Agoraphobia
Fear of thunder and lightning – Brontophobia
Fear is something that scripture says we combat and conquer with divine love 1 John 4:18. We may have fears and worries about things that could happen to us, but we don’t have to worry if God will take care of us or not. I’m glad He will not leave us or forsake us. That He will never let us fall, that HE WILL NOT FAIL. Of this we do not have to be afraid.
D.L. Moody used to say, ” You can travel to heaven first class or second class. Second class is, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” Psalm 56:3. First class is, “In God I trust; I will not be afraid. Psalm 56:11.