It’s only Wednesday, but this week has already been filled with uncertainty and chaos for not only myself, but for a lot of people surrounding me. Friends. Coworkers. Family members. I’m amazed at the stress that many of us seem to be under lately. And while I am slightly comforted knowing that I am not the only one that experiences stress, it’s difficult to witness and sustain so much strife and madness.
In this season of life, I know many people who are struggling to make sense of their purpose. They either don’t know what they are passionate about, don’t like the current job they are in, or are under so much stress that they can’t see a way out. Even for me — someone who feels like she has a sense of God’s purpose for her life — lately the path has not been clear.
Sometimes our purpose and the path before us is clear and smooth. But there are times when circumstances muddy the waters. In these times, our flesh wants to hold fast to our grievances and problems. We hold fast to the stress, as if clinging to it will make it go away. But there is another way. A better way.
A few weeks ago, I blogged about what it means to surrender our lives to Christ. We talked about how surrendering isn’t a one and done action — it’s a daily choice. Every day we have a choice to live for ourselves or surrender to our Father.
But when it comes to tapping into God’s will for our lives … surrender is not where the action stops. Surrender is only the beginning.
When we surrender, we stop holding fast to our grievances and problems. From there we have to make another conscious effort. We have to give up our troubles and hold fast to the Word of God. We let go of our stress to lay hold of Jesus: The name that saves; The name that calms the storm; The name that has the power to lift us from the grave. One Word. One Name.
When our heads are reeling, when the enemy attacks us, when the path seems unclear, we hold fast to the Word. When storms seek to shake and shatter us, we remain anchored in Jesus.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:21, Paul encourages the church to “Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.” This verse applies to us today in the same way it applied to the church in Thessalonica back in 52-54 AD. Heads will roll in this life. Stress will come at us at all sides, unannounced and unwanted. The path before us might get foggy from time to time. But we are called to put all of these things aside and hold fast to what is good and true. We are called to spend time in God’s word.
Setting aside time to read the Bible isn’t always convenient, but it’s life changing.
If I’m honest I used to seldom read my Bible. It was something I opened in church and at Bible Study groups, but nothing more. Maybe you can relate. Maybe it’s hard for you to get into God’s Word — you aren’t interested or you just don’t have the time. Here’s the thing I want you to know though: The Bible is more than old words on a page. It is our compass. It is our anchor. It is the breath of God written for our benefit. It is meant to help God’s people make sense of their lives. It can and it will transform your life if you make time to read it.
If you’re like me, or my friends and coworkers, and you are having a stressful week, I want to especially challenge you to make an effort to get into the Word more frequently. Aim for 15 minutes a day if you can. Start each reading session asking God to meet you where you are reading, and end each reading session with a prayer thanking God for His Word and asking Him to help you apply it to your life. Even if you’re not having a stressful week, would you accept this challenge with me?
There is one Word and one name that can help guide us through life. Let’s start holding fast to what is good, and let go of everything else.