We Need Him More Than We Think

June 26, 2016 No Comments »
We Need Him More Than We Think

By David Faust

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.26.19 PMAmericans declared our independence in 1776, and we continue to declare it every day. We treasure individuality. We value freedom. We honor those who died to preserve our liberty in the past and those who risk their lives to protect it in the present.

When our nation’s founders declared independence from political tyranny, they simultaneously declared their reliance on God. The Declaration of Independence opens with what its authors considered “self-evident” truth: that equality and the pursuit of happiness are endowed by our Creator. The final sentence of the Declaration mentions the signers’ “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”

We need God more than we seem to think.

When We Struggle

We need God during childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood when we’re trying to find our way in life. “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). Where else can we find purpose and direction?

We need him in midlife when stress abounds and responsibilities at work and home seem heavy. “Cast all your anxiety on him” (1 Peter 5:7), because if you don’t, all that anxiety stays on your shoulders.

We need him when sickness, sadness, and doubt assail our bodies and souls. According to the apostle Paul, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26). If you ever find it hard to pray (and who doesn’t?), isn’t it reassuring to know that God understands your weakness? The Holy Spirit interprets our struggling thoughts before Heaven’s throne and accompanies us through the valleys.

We need the Lord when we die. My father-in-law, Charles, died recently after investing most of his 86 years as a preacher and church planter. Like all of us he was imperfect, but he faced eternity with calm assurance. During his final hours, the hospital became a sanctuary where loved ones surrounded him with love, gratitude, and hymns of praise. After nearly 65 years of marriage, his wife Penny misses him intensely, but because of the risen Christ she awaits a glad reunion in the eternal realm where time is irrelevant. Before he died, they whispered to each other, “See you in five minutes!” The prophet wisely prayed, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3).

When We Succeed

Certainly we need God when we struggle, but we also need him when things go well.

Blessings come from God’s hand, not from our own achievements. Life’s highest purpose isn’t to make our own way but to walk in the Lord’s way—not to make a name for ourselves but to shine the spotlight on him.

In 1863 Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to express gratitude for America’s blessings. “No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things,” Lincoln wrote. “They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.”

As we celebrate our nation’s independence, let’s remember our dependence on the one who created us. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness, to freely confess this self-evident truth: We need God.

David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2012, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.

Daily Readings

June 27

M.

John 1:1-9

Dark vs. Light

June 28

T.

John 15:18-27

Hate vs. Love

June 29

W.

2 Corinthians 4:1-6

Doubt vs. Faith

June 30

T.

Galatians 2:11-21

Grace vs. Law

July 1

F.

Ephesians 4:25-32

Lies vs. Truth

July 2

S.

Isaiah 26:1-12

Wicked vs. Righteous

July 3

S.

Romans 2:17-29

Inadequacy of the Law

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