No. 167



The German reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546) has left us with this enduring thought: "A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing." In the Bible in the book of Hebrews we find these words in 11:1, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." A person's faith is a very private matter, but as I have studied the Bible over the years, one of the most reassuring things I have come to believe is regardless of the events and circumstances we see about us, God is still in control.

This is something I beleive we all need to hear and think about from time to time, especially when we are discouraged. God is eternal and to understand His greatness and His awesome power is something we should not fear, but take comfort in. I was reminded of this truth in a new and dynamic way the other day when I read an article titled Perspective, that was written by the pastor of a Church in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Shortly after getting out of bed and washing the sleep from his eyes, this pastor begins by saying, "It was early morning as I put on my new jogging outfit and headed West toward the edge of town. The rising sun warmed my back as I turned the corner and crossed the river. The cobwebs began to clear from my mind. Once again, I rejoiced from that special exultation that comes from exercise and dawn. I swung West again and faced the monster hill at the edge of town. I had never come this way before and I was anxious to try this new challenge.

Halfway up the hill I began to have serious doubts. My legs felt as is spikes were being driven into them. My lungs seemed to be burning as I kept my eyes focused on the pavement. Each step I took made the snow capped Mt. Adams loom larger until the whole horizon seemed to be filled with its 12,000 feet majesty. The pain of running drained from my body, as I was filled with the wonder of God's creation! I topped the hill and ran past the airport. I glanced to the South and there stood Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens in equal splendor.

As I headed home, I saw the awakening city before me and my thoughts turned to its buildings and its people. I was struck with the contrast of the physical creation of God, and the struggle of life on this planet. I thought about a house where a young woman lived alone, abandoned by her husband; an apartment where two unmarried young people were living together; another house where religious differences were ripping a family apart; a house where divorce threatened to destroy the children; another house where alcohol had already crushed one of God's special creations; and still another cottage where a widow grieved alone. About this time I looked up and saw the church rising above the trees. Then I realized that God's redemptive power is still at work. Yes, God is still in control."

Along these lines another special blessing from God happened in my life just the other day. Because of my schedule and work load, I had allowed stress to build up in my body. So much so that my chest was hurting. First, I prepared myself a cup of hot tea and then sat down in my recliner, but that didn't seem to help. After a bit I took my Bible out on the deck and as the sun was setting and the rays were filtering through the trees, I read several chapters from God's word. After a few minutes I noticed that the stress was gone and I had perfect peace. Yes, in my mind and heart, I know that God is still in control. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)