Don't Sweat the Stuff
God works in everyone’s life, but in differing ways. Abram was told to go without knowing where, and set out for a land of which he did not know. Moses obeyed God in leading the Israelites out of Egypt, heading towards a promised land that he never possessed. Joshua led his people around Jericho for seven days before the walls fell. Noah built the ark as per God’s instruction, the time of construction is not clearly laid out, but he was in the ark once the rains came for about 370 days. Saul was knocked off the horse and blind for three days before God healed him, and then he began his ministry. John the Baptist served his calling and was beheaded while in prison, while John the Beloved survived a vat of boiling oil, according to tradition and history, and banished to the Isle of Patmos.
One thing is true throughout all of these accounts, and it is found in Proverbs 3:5-6…
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Towards the end of the Acts account in scripture, Paul was told by God that he would testify in Rome (Acts 23:11). Immediately there was a plot on Paul’s life, which failed. He is transferred to various officials to stand trial before he is finally sent off towards Rome. Seeing in the natural that sea travel would be disastrous, Paul warns the centurion, but he does not listen and they set sail. After 14 days at sea without relent from hurricane-force winds and rain, and after throwing much cargo and supplies overboard, Paul warns everyone to eat and prepare to shipwreck. Everyone arrives on land safely as God has revealed to Paul, and a viper latches to his hand. In the end, Paul reaches Rome where he is enabled to preach under Roman guard.
I’ve recently made the comment that it’s all just stuff. Everything we have, everything we long for and everything out of reach is just stuff. Psalm 24 says that all the stuff belongs to God. We can spend our entire lives chasing stuff. We can also spend our entire lives chasing God and allowing him to provide the stuff as the need presents itself or as God desires to bless. Psalm 145:19 says that God fulfills the desires of those who fear him. Your position on the stuff you have is based on your ability to focus on God and his will for you. When you fear God, your desires are centered on Christ. When you are not focused where you should be and you hear God fulfilling your desires, you may flare up and immediately think prosperity preaching or feel resentment about what others have.
Don’t sweat the stuff!!! God has not given you a spirit of fear. God has not caused you a sense of worry. God won’t cause you panic in the midst of life’s storms.
God will take your burden! God will lift your spirit and bring you comfort! He is your peace!