In just a few weeks, millions of Americans will be celebrating our country’s freedom. There will be gatherings both large and small, and individuals dressed in red, white, and blue, waving the American flag. In many small towns, parades will fill the streets as beautiful floats decorated with flowers, banners, and balloons pass by.
In our area, residents park a second vehicle at their favorite parade location the night before to ensure they get the best view. Afterward, picnics and parties fill the afternoon. Special services commemorating our nations’ independence are scheduled throughout the day. This annual celebration is in honor and recognition of the passage of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. What a great privilege to be an American and enjoy our freedoms as “One Nation Under God.”
The Change in America:
As I think about this special holiday, I realize the landscape of America is changing. We have removed prayer from our schools and God from our lives, and each day our freedoms are slipping away. What was once characterized by solidarity and safety is being replaced by anxiety, doubt, and fear. What do the days ahead hold? Are you fearful for what may lie ahead?
Freedom From Fear:
As I studied God’s Word this morning, I was reminded of a story in the Bible when the disciples were afraid. Jesus and His disciples were preaching and ministering to the massive crowds that had gathered on the shore. Seeing that the multitudes did not want to leave Jesus told His disciples to get into the boat and meet Him on the other side.
“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’ Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’” Mark 4:35-41 (NKJV)
The Storms of the Sea:
Those verses hit home today as I thought of my own wavering faith in times of fear. The Sea of Galilee was (and still is) known for its sudden and fierce storms that would unsettle even the most skilled seaman.
The storms were relentless, filled with intensity, and often wreaked havoc with the boats trying to navigate those waters. Many found themselves stranded at sea. In this violent storm, the disciples thought they were going to perish. Jesus spoke to the storm and immediately the sea ceased its raging. Even the winds and the waves obeyed His voice.
The Storms of Life:
In life, there are many storms. They are constant. For some, it is sad news from a doctor. Or no money to pay bills. The rent is due. A loved one loses their battle with cancer. Yet, the Bible says, “But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24b (NKJV)
That friend is Jesus.
That thought penetrated my heart as God spoke to me about those many storms of life. I was reminded of the times I had felt stranded. Abandoned. Alone. Afraid. At times, I’ve even asked, “Where are you, God? Asleep?” Not at all. He is always there.
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24b (NKJV)
Why Does God Allow Storms?
Sometimes we go through storms for our own spiritual growth, or simply to show others our faith while the world watches us to see how we will react to these storms of life. God allows these storms for our own good and His glory. We cannot lose because He has us in the palm of His hand; we are safe because He is our refuge. We can have freedom (through Him), for any circumstance that comes our way. As I have often heard, “Nothing comes our way that doesn’t first cross God’s desk.” It is His prerogative to grow us as He chooses.
For me, the core of this Biblical account is trust. The disciples thought they had no options—no answers. And yet, the answer was right there with them all along. How many times in our own life’s perils do we fail to see Jesus? How many times is He our last resort, instead of the first?
The Future Storms of America:
As the future of America continues to change and decline, and we lose the freedoms some have so often taken for granted, we can have freedom from fear—knowing that God is still in control. He is still at the helm of life’s boat and is the anchor in every storm.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” II Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)
We don’t have to be strong. He is our strength through every trial, problem, and uncertainty. Whatever lies ahead, we are free. Why? Because the battle belongs to Him. It is not ours to fight.
“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)
Based on I Peter 5:7 we can leave our worries and cares with Him, knowing He is the calm in every crisis and the peace in every storm.
In closing rest assured we can have true freedom from our fears of tomorrow because He is already there.
Check out this article from Proverbs 31 ministries: Trading Fear for Freedom
This is From My Heart~
Bonnie Lovelace is a resident writer for The Hallelujah House. She resides in the Tidewater area of Virginia with her husband and they have two grown children. When she’s not writing blogs Bonnie’s passion is in hospitality and ministering to women in various ministries. You can read more about Bonnie and connect with her personally by accessing her bio.
Photo Credit: Josh Willink-Pexels