The View From Here

What Are You Looking For?

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The other day I was looking for something. The first store I tried didn't have it but suggested another store. The second didn't have it either and recommended a third. The third gave me directions to the fourth and so on—I finally gave up and drove home empty handed.

Two things came to mind as I mumbled down the road. First, I was thinking I should take a remedial course in the use of a telephone. A few minutes spent there would have saved a lot of work. But second, I considered the parallel with so many people today.

Many in the world are looking for something they cannot seem to find. People search from the bottom of a bottle to the top of the company ladder, from the world of books to the tight circle of friends, from the offbeat religion to the well-respected lodge.

Everybody is looking for a niche, a place where they fit and where life is happy. But most find only the frustration of looking but not seeing, searching but not having.

The world offers a smorgasbord of alternatives, but what they are looking for is Jesus Christ. And that is where we come in. You and I have the supreme delight of saying, "Yes, I have it! I have just what you are seeking."

If we wear our faith day by day, searching people will have a place to look. It is called advertising in the business world and Christlikeness in the family of God. Your life can reflect that peace that comes from having found what you were looking for.

And by the way, that is not a bad way to begin a discussion with someone. Ask them, "What are you looking for in life?" When they are done you can tell them about yours.

Posted by Bill Knepper with
in Faith

Strength For Dark Corners

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He was backed into a corner.  His house burnt, family gone and his buddies wanted to kill him.  He was an emotional wreck, but too exhausted to feel anymore.  He couldn’t turn to the law because of an old warrant for his arrest.  Last time he was in a situation like this, he ran to a rival gang for help.  Now even they had kicked him out.  He was in a tight place alright.

How do you find the strength when it’s gone?  Where do you turn when the way seems blocked?  Just before he became king, David found himself in such a situation.  After being kicked out of the Philistine camp, David and his 600 men found their homes burned and their families captured by merciless, slave-trading Amalekites.  The men were devastated, exhausted and embittered toward their leader, David.  1st Samuel 30:6 describes David in this situation as being “distressed.”  Another way to translate this would be “in a tight place,” “in narrow straights,” “in a bind.”  David was backed into a corner.  What could he do?  To whom could he turn for help?

As a spectator, it is never fair to say you would react differently to a certain situation.  You never really know until the test comes.  Situations like David’s “test your mettle”—actually they test your rock.  Moses wrote about Israel’s enemies, “Indeed, their rock is not like our Rock, Even our enemies themselves judge this” (Deut. 32:31).  When everything comes crashing down, you see a difference between those who were trusting in God and those who were hoping in something else.  Trusting in God doesn’t mean everything will go your way.  It means you realized that God is in control no matter what you go through.  God cannot be shaken.  There is no Rock like our God.

In his tight corner, David does not stop to ponder his distress.  He does not let circumstance dictate emotion.  Rather than operate by what his eyes, ears and the pit of his stomach tell him, he goes forward in faith.  1st Samuel 30:6 says “David strengthened himself in Yahweh his God.”  David did not always react this way.  In chapter 27, David lost hope. Fear outweighed faith.  God said David would be king, but David was sure Saul would kill him unless he ran away.  When vision is controlled by fear, resolve and focus fall apart. 

David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.  Another way to say this is David “firmed up,” “pulled himself together,” “gained some resolve,” “found courage in the face of difficulty.”  Why didn’t David melt this time?  How did he strengthen himself?  He did this by turning to God.  David prayed.  He went to “our Rock.” 

Peter says God cares for you, and that you should cast your cares on Him.  Peter also gives a warning.  Those who want to go it on their own choose themselves over and against the help God provides.  When you don’t talk to God about your problems, you paint a target on your back.  The devil, your enemy, is lurking like a hungry lion, looking for lunch (1st Pet. 5:5b-8).  So cast your worries and distress upon the one who can carry them and you at the same time.  Jesus is the Rock that is so often rejected, but only those who find refuge and rest in Jesus will find strength for dark corners.

Posted by Joshua Holland with