ARE YOU FEELING OVERWHELMED? Andy Hollifield 6-19-18
Psalms 142:3-5 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walk have they privily laid a snare for me. (4) I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. (5) I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
Have you ever been there? I guess we all probably have at one time or another. I started to title this article “Underwhelmed.” That really is a word and it is a play on the word “overwhelmed” which simply means to be loaded up with an excessive amount of anything. Underwhelmed means to have no positive impact or impression on. Also, to fail to interest or astonish. Those of us that are trying to live for the Lord, that is where a lot of us are at right now. Even lost folk that are good moral people, look at the circumstances and condition our world is in and cannot find anything positive that will impact their lives and give them a reason for hope. Peter said in 1 Peter 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give answer to every man that asketh a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” Even in the most desperate of times, when our soul is overwhelmed, we have to accept the fact that the Lord is still on the throne and all is still well in heaven. Nothing has come up that will delay his coming. That IS the hope that is in us. When we accept that, and rely on that hope, these other things instead of being so frightening and uncertain will just become underwhelming to us. They will fail to impact us in any way and certainly not in a positive way. When we rely on our hope, these things won’t astonish us to the point of making us fearful. They will become par for the course and we will realize that, as Jesus said in Matthew 24:6 “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
Not only should we “be not troubled” but we should be getting downright excited. In Luke 21, Jesus tells us that the Jews will be killed and made captive “and trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” He goes on to talk about there being signs in the sun and the moon and stars; “and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.” Verse 26 goes on to say “Mens’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” That sounds like a dreadful time doesn’t it? It sounds like the days in which we are living. Everything from all the signs and eclipses, comets, meteor showers, in the heavens to the distress of nations. Have you ever seen a time when the entire world was in so much turmoil? Not just the “wars and rumours of wars,” but the perplexity! That word is defined as uncertainty, confusion, or a tangled, involved, or confused condition or situation. Uncertainty is the word that jumped out at me. People worry about the stock market, the border of our country, our policies toward immigrants, a living wage, and at the same time; too much taxes. Institutions are full of folks that just couldn’t deal with life anymore and suicide rates are spiraling out of control. The overall rate according to the National Center for Health Statistics rose by 24 percent from 1999 to 2014. Some age groups had rates that increased as much as 63 percent. Almost 43,000 people died from suicide in 2014 and that is up from 29,199 in 1999. It certainly would appear that people in all walks of life are simply overwhelmed and fearful and need to know about the hope that is in us.
Now for the good part. Jesus said in verse 27 and 28 “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. (28) And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” All of those things that get us overwhelmed have already began to come to pass. It’s time to look up! Don’t be so defeated but lift up your heads because our redemption is getting closer. Our faith will soon become sight and “the evidence of things not seen,” (Hebrews 11:1) will appear right in front of us. We will soon be seeing that first glimpse of the one that gives us that “peace which passeth all understanding.” That peace that “shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). The peace we can have now because of the hope that is in us. The older I get, the less the things overwhelm me and the more underwhelmed I become. I am not astonished anymore because I know it is time to look up. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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