Monday, October 9, 2017

Pastor's Ponderings, October 9, 2017

Escaping The Pain

Katharine Q. Seelye wrote an article in the New York Times, October 7, 2017 issue, entitled, “As Overdose Deaths Pile Up, a Medical Examiner Quits the Morgue.” An excerpt from the article said, “With 64,000 overdose deaths last year nationwide — a staggering 22 percent jump over the previous year — it is little wonder that overdoses, the leading cause of death among Americans under 50, are reducing life expectancy. They are also straining the staffs and resources of morgues, and causing major backlogs.” Other articles are equally sad, “The Pills Are Everywhere’: How the Opioid Crisis Claims Its Youngest Victims” and “Inside a Killer Drug Epidemic: A Look at America’s Opioid Crisis.” Drug abuse snatches one from the abundant life with Christ (John 10:10) and dumps them into a temporary bizarre and distorted vision of reality or sudden death.

Many of us have suffered unrelenting physical pain, the loss of loved ones, been fired from good jobs, experienced natural disasters, or feel they have failed in life. The Bible tells us that God wants us to know that there is hope, riches, and power for those who believe in Him (Ephesians 1:17-19).  He does not give the short-lived and deceptive peace of this worldly system; He gives us His peace so that we will not be troubled or afraid (John 14:27).  We can simply trust in Him and He will keep us in His perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). Some will turn to drugs because of the trouble in their minds or in their life situations, but Jesus says that we will have trouble in the world, but we should be happy since He has already overcome the world system (John 16:33). 

Depression, job loss, spousal abuse, societal alienation, or simply wanting to comply with the wishes of other drug abusers has contributed to many drug addictions.  But God wants us to remember His promises, His peace, His power, and His possibilities.  He does not want us to look to ourselves, our situation, or other people.  He wants us to have that abundant life in Him.  Let us look to Him for everything that we will ever need in life.

John 10:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Ephesians 1:17-19

New International Version (NIV)
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe…

John 14:27
New International Version (NIV)
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Isaiah 26:3
New Life Version (NLV)
3 You will keep the man in perfect peace whose mind is kept on You, because he trusts in You.

John 16:33
New International Version (NIV)
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

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