Going Deeper with the Message:
Remembering God’s Salvation
by: Ben Biles
On Sunday, Pastor Tim’s main takeaway was “We won’t have to worry about the future if we remember how God has taken care of us in the past.” Tim shared the story of Elijah and how he feared for his life when threatened by Jezebel even though God had just pulled off one of the biggest displays of power before his very eyes. We see that he failed to translate God’s salvation from the past into the present moment.
Many of us can relate to Elijah. We tend to forget what God has done for us in the past because we live in the present with an orientation toward the future. We tend to rely on our own resources, hoping that we have enough to secure us from any trouble life can throw at us. Left to ourselves, we would be right to worry, for we can’t solve many of our own problems and we don’t have control over our external environment.
As we read the Old Testament, we see that God repeatedly commanded Israel to remember how He saved them from slavery in Egypt. This was the big moment when God revealed His awesome power and showed the nation that He could provide in any situation. In this, He wanted them to remember how He saved them in the past and how His power and love continues into the present moment. God even instituted Passover as an annual week-long feast dedicated to remembering this. Yet, Israel feared for their lives every time an enemy nation arrived at their borders. Why? Because they couldn’t translate God’s salvation from the past into the present moment.
God wants us to remember what He’s done for us, but this is far more than just a simple acknowledgement of past events. Remembering moves beyond simply knowing what God did in the past and evolves into trusting that God will provide in the future. For believers now, we know that God has sent His Son to save us from our sin. This served as the ultimate moment when God showed us the magnitude of His power and love for us. He brought us into a relationship with Himself and gave an eternal life. We have no cause for fear because we know that God is with us at all times. If He sent his only Son to die for us, He surely will provide for us in whatever situation we currently face. We need to continually reflect on God’s goodness in the past and trust that He will continue to show us this same goodness in the future.
Living out the Message:
Finding Confidence in God
By Ben Biles
With classes starting at West Virginia University and all schools around the nation, summer is officially over. Though it might not have been the most stress-free summer as we continue to deal with COVID-19, many still had a much needed break from the stress of online class. The new season of Fall 2020 now begins, filled with the excitement, nervousness, and stress present at the start of all new endeavors.
Only this time, communities are instituting strict guidelines for returning students hoping to contain the spread of COVID-19 and praying against disaster. On top of this, nationwide protests have continued since May, and we are currently witnessing the fallout from Jacob Blake’s death in Wisconsin with the reaction of many sports teams in boycotting games to protest police brutality. Meanwhile, the looming presidential election in November is polarizing political supporters and building an unprecedented amount of tension. If this wasn’t enough, hurricane season is upon us as we brace for the first of many storms hitting the coast. As we attempt to restore normality to our lives, we wonder what else will go wrong in a year already filled with so much turmoil.
And yet, we know that God is still in control as we continue to hope and trust in Him. On Sunday, Tim said, “We won’t have to worry about the future if we remember how God has taken care of us in the past.” We cling to our God knowing that He is good and that He will carry us through any situation. His promises are true, His love is forever, and His grace is abundantly given to all those who believe. He has shown His awesome power in securing our eternal salvation through His Son and this gives us the confidence to press forward in the midst of chaos.
As we enter the new season, it is necessary that we include a time of reflection on God’s past goodness into our everyday life. If we don’t intentionally remember what God has done to bless us, we will only fill our minds with more fear, worry, and stress. This week, ask yourself, “What has God done in my life? How have I seen Him move?” Many believers find it helpful to keep a prayer journal in order to see how God answers prayer over time. Whether that appeals to you or not, consider implementing time in your schedule to reflect on what God has done in the past and let that give you confidence going into the future knowing that His plans will prevail.