Pastor Wrinkles: The Lenten Journey Pt. 26

What a wonderful day yesterday was. I started the day with a very productive blogging session; I spent some time  playing with the puppies and praying. I had time to practice piano and then I took my daughter to the movies to see Oz the Great and Powerful. I got home had some supper and was getting ready to do some reading when I noticed the letter on my table. It had come in the afternoon post. The return address was from the Mass State Department of Revenue. Since I have already filed my taxes and they were e-filed with a direct deposit I knew right off what the letter was.

When I am on the highway I generally set my cruise control. It saves gas by keeping me at a steady pace and with it  I can always be sure I am within the speed limit. You know those moments when you are in cruise control, when you know because you’re in cruise you are within the limits of the law? Yet even knowing that, as soon as you see a State Police car in the distance your first instinct is to slam on the brakes and slow down because you fear you still could be caught doing something wrong. That is the exact feeling I had as I opened the assessment letter last night. I have been responsible with my taxes. I have an accountant who knows clergy tax law. I keep records and they are easily reproducible. Yet my first thought last night was “I am being audited! It’s the end of the world! I will owe my entire life’s savings and be destitute…out on the street!”

The world is full of evil reports. Evil reports are the threatenings and sometimes the realizations of trouble which a common occurrence in our universe. They are: the troubling doctors report, the divorce papers, the bad report card, the pink slip and a thousand other little messages that we are not safe in this world. Jesus went so far as to tell us..” In this world you will have trouble.” John 16:33

The question is not, “Will trouble or evil reports come?” The question is “What will we do with them when they arrive?”

We have some choices. We can:

1. Receive the evil report and give up. This choice leads us to fatalism…doing nothing  because we believe that the evil thing  is inevitable.

2. Receive the evil report and worry. This choice leads us to fear. With this choice we help the evil report to grow into a monster that consumes all of our life and feeds on our hope until we are nothing more than burned out shells. In this scenario we become paranoid self-fulfilling prophecies of the terrible things we fear.

3.  Hear the evil report but refuse to accept it on the basis of God’s promises. This choice leads us to radical faith that wrestles with God until He grants us a blessing.

The world is full of evil and evil reports. But it is also filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Jesus did say that in this world we would have trouble but He also said “Take heart for I have overcome the world!” John 16:33

I am not going to allow myself to worry about the tax assessment thingy I have coming up. In fact I am believing that this is going to turn out for my blessing and for a witness.

What helps you to disregard the evil reports in your life?

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Pastor Wrinkles: The Lenten Journey Pt. 26

  1. What helps me when an evil report comes in is the power of prayer. Of course, the initial thing is fear but thank God I have my brothers and sisters in Christ to remind give to God because He is the only one in control. This past week seems like it has been one thing after another and I seemed to be doing ok until Friday when I had a biopsy done on possible cancerous lesion as well finding out that my unemployment has run out. I have to
    admit it put me over the edge a bit. Then I heard your devotional on Sunday and others prayed for me to be healed and today I can say I have peace about this lesion and my finances. So I have a little fear but I have more FAITH in my God who promised to heal and provide.

  2. Lately I’ve been camped on that promise verse about how He has begun a good work in me–and He WILL finish it. Keeps me encouraged, living in Faith not fear. God bless you–love, sis Caddo

  3. Praying and believing with you, Pastor J, that this will be a blessing and a witness! Me . ..I read blogs like yours to help me disregard the evil reports and keep mindful of how wonderful and faithful God is! 🙂 God bless you and yours!

  4. >> What helps you to disregard the evil reports in your life?
    The abiding presence of the triune God and His promises that no matter what happens, He is there with me and will undertake for me while I am submitted to Him.

    We serve an incredibly amazing God who delights to bless us.

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