What will I choose to focus on today? Will I allow my mind to bounce back and forth between the news and social media? I have a choice today, like I do every day, of what I will allow my mind to dwell on. Today, I will dwell on what I know for sure.
What I Do Know For Sure
God is sovereign over nations, over rulers, over all. I will dwell on these words spoken by Nebuchadnezzar, a pagan king whom God humbled:
“At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?'” Daniel 4:34-35
And these words of David:
“The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.” Psalm 103:19
It is foolish to trust in man. I will take these words to heart:
“Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.” Psalm 146:3-4
“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” Proverbs 29:25
Life is fleeting and often seems futile. I will remind myself of these sobering truths:
“For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh. The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.” Psalm 90:9-10
God’s purposes will stand. I will counsel my heart with this declaration:
“Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.'” Isaiah 46:8-10
Now, if I stopped there I may be left a little depressed. Yes, God has all authority and his purposes will stand. And yes, I am a sinner and my life is but a blip in relation to eternity. So now let’s focus on the rest of the story, and the reasons I can rest.
God’s story is one of redemption. I will recall Zechariah’s prophecy about his son John who would prepare the way of the Savior:
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:76-79
He has redeemed me and transferred me to another kingdom. I will rejoice in this truth:
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14
I have an identity that transcends any earthly kingdom. I will remember who I am, by God’s grace through faith (see Ephesians 2:1-10):
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9
I am called to reflect this identity to a watching world. Because of this transfer of citizenship, I am called to act accordingly:
“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:13-17
What will happen in the coming days? I don’t know. But these are the things I do know for sure. This is the truth I need to tether my heart to not just today, but every day.