Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Checking the Forecast

One of the websites that I have bookmarked on my computer is the Weather Channel. I don't usually bother checking it in the summer, when every day's forecast is "hot and humid", but during times like this, when it could be sunny and 80 degrees one day and rainy and 60 degrees the next, it's helpful to have a forecast to consult, especially when planning what to wear that day.

I've often thought how helpful it would be if we could consult some sort of spiritual forecast to say what the day's challenges would be. For instance, what if you knew in advance that at 7:45 a.m. you'd get stuck in traffic, at 9:20 a.m. you'd get yelled at by your boss, at 11:56 a.m. you'd give in to temptation to go out to eat instead of eating the lunch you brought from home, at 2:16 you'd spill coffee on yourself... I have a feeling that many of us, if we could know how our days would turn out, would call in sick!

Jesus did leave a forecast of sorts with us--He promised that there would be trials and temptations. Not exactly uplifting news, I know, but let's check out the rest of His statement:

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

Our focus should not be on expecting doom and gloom, but rather on the peace that comes from knowing Jesus, despite any doom and gloom that we may encounter.

As for the dilemma of what to "wear" in light of the daily challenges of life, we're given instruction on that as well:

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12)

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:11-18)

When starting your day, be mindful that Satan is scheming, looking for ways to distract and discourage you. But take heart and remember that Jesus is bigger than any problems that Satan can throw your way. Dress prepared for battle, and enter the day with confidence as a child of God!

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