The quiet ministry of the living Spirit of the living God.

Good morning everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “The end of anxiety and despair”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
 
Our thought for today: “The quiet ministry of the living Spirit of the living God”
 
It used to be that I could sleep anywhere, at any time, under any conditions. In a bunk in a barracks with seventy other men; on a ship in the middle of a typhoon in the South China Sea; in a tent in the Amazon Jungle; once I even spent two weeks sharing a hotel room in Cusco, Peru with Jim Cox (he snores). In trains, planes, and automobiles, under virtually any conditions, I could get a full night’s sleep.
 
But not so much anymore. Did you know that the older you get the less well you sleep at night? It’s true. Now-a-days I fall asleep quickly, I sleep deeply and soundly for three or four hours, but then I often wake up. And that’s when the demons of anxiety and doubt and despair come to visit. I seldom experience anxiety or despair in the daylight hours. But in the middle of the night, there’s a dozen voices chattering in my head, and it will go on for hours – if I let it.
 
But I don’t let it. Instead, I turn my thoughts to Jesus. I think about Matthew 11:28-30 and I claim the rest and peace He promises. I also recite other Bible verses that I find comforting. Now that I’m in my older years I have a personalized version of Isaiah 46:4 that brings me comfort and assurance, “Even to your old age and grey hairs, Jim, I am He. I am He who will sustain you. I will sustain you and carry you; I will sustain you and rescue you.” I know from experience that Matthew 11:28-30 is true. And Isaiah 46:4 is true. And all of the promises of God are true.  And soon …. I’m sound asleep again.
 
An essential means of dealing with anxiety and despair is to bring it to the Lord. Intentionally, purposefully, and with resolve, lay it at the feet of Jesus. Pray about it, claim the promises, and let Him take it from you. Isaiah 26:3 assures us, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is stayed on you.” And He will. This is what Howard Thurman once called “The quiet ministry of the living Spirit of the living God.” I like that thought – the quiet ministry of the living Spirit of the living God. I want to experience more of that in my life.  
 
God wants you to bring your anxiety and despair to Him. I encourage you to do it. You’ll be glad you did.  
 
God bless,
Pastor Jim
 
 
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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