Don’t Panic

Don’t Panic

                                                                                 
It is unlikely that I will ever forget the Sabbath School lesson of Wednesday, June 9, 2010. To explain, it highlighted an individual who experienced healing by laughter and a positive attitude. However, the author did not say that laughter heals in every instance, but it does help to be positive.  A positive attitude results from a life of devotion and trust in God. Isn’t that amazing! By looking to and trusting in God, one will experience peace and an assurance of salvation. And yet if one is not deliberate, he will likely become so occupied with little, if any, time for God and thereby become anxious and restless. Therefore, I share the following with you.
 
When We Panic
            I am reminded of the experience of Moses, Aaron and the children of Israel recorded in Exodus 32. Moses was invited by God to come upon the mountain.  In his absence, Aaron was left in charge of the people. According to some of the folks, Moses was taking too long; and they urged Aaron to do the unthinkable as noted in this verse: “Come make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses . . . we do not know what has become of him.”  How sad! For the flash of lightning was evidence of the presence of God (SDAC vol. 1, p. 664). Yet, instead of keeping their focus on God, they panicked and took a path that led to sin.
            The happenings of today are enough to challenge us, especially the high rate of murders and a growing sense of lawlessness; recent loss of lives owing to plane crashes, and additional taxes. The worst thing that we can do is to panic. Instead, we must call to mind the leading of God in the past up to the present. A careful look will point to the fact that He has not failed us.
                                                                                          
Lesson of Discipline
            The reality of additional taxes or the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) thus affecting the tight budget of some demand that we be frugal and adjust where necessary. An economist remarked to me some years ago that we have had seven good years (2000 – 2008) before we began to witness a downturn in the world economy. Looking back, how did we manage that time?  Did we save?  Did we invest wisely?  The principle of the story of Joseph and his counsel to Pharaoh in Genesis is noteworthy. Life does not always dish out what we want, as there are the lean years and there are the fat years. As we are in the lean years, it means that we must learn to adjust.  In fact, we learn that there are things that we do not need. A careful look will help us see what they are.  However, as I noted in a previous article, the one constant in life is God. In good and bad times, He is still the same God! His faithfulness to man is unchanging as observed in Lamentations 3. Put another way in a great hymn: “Great is Thy faithfulness.”
 
Looking to God
            Going back to Exodus 32, we see that the children of Israel looked away from the mountain and away from God, and they worshiped the image made by Aaron and rose up to play. According to the Hebrew language, it suggests that they engaged in sexual orgies.  That ought to say something to us. When we panic, we do strange and deadly things.  Unfortunately, it was Aaron who gave in under pressure to the wish of the people.  Fellow leaders, we must be men and women of prayer, courage, the word and complete trust in God. Our victory and perspective must come from a daily walk with God, ever mindful of His promises to us.  Not once must we trust the arms of flesh; but instead, lean on the everlasting arms of God, as He is able.