Roller Coaster of Life

Magnum XL-200, the first roller coaster in the...

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Don’t be afraid; just believe…” (Luke 8:50)

I remember some years back going to Cedar Point with a friend who loved to ride roller coasters. Cedar Point came out with a relatively new one at that time called the Magnum XL-200. It was called the highest roller coaster at that time at 205 feet high. The speed of riding that roller coaster would get up to 72 mph. If you go to this link: http://www.cedarpoint.com/public/park/rides/coasters/magnum/index.cfm you can actually watch what it’s like to take the ride.

Going on a ride like this takes belief that you will survive it. I wasn’t so sure the first time I went on it. I rode on this roller coaster three times…and screamed just as loud every time. This is a ride where you forget all your troubles, because the focus is on survival.

There are things in life that are frightening. God does not want us to be afraid. Throughout the Bible, he sends the message of “fear not” and “do not be afraid.” God wants us to focus on him, his promises, and his presence. If we can keep our focus on God, and believe what he says, our fears will disappear.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, with the ups and downs of life, I pray that my faith will keep me on the firm foundation of you. I need not fear because of the victory I have in you. Amen

Faith tip: Look for a couple of scripture verses in the Bible regarding fear, and see what God says about it. Memorize these verses to keep in your heart and mind as you journey through life.

Getting ready for great things

…those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away. (1 Cor. 7:31)

As school starts again, I think about all the energy that goes into getting ready. There’re new clothes to buy, school supplies, transportation, sports, and more. These are all great things, but sometimes I think the ratio of our thought and energy is much greater towards getting ready for things of this world rather than getting ready for eternity. How do we know if we are balanced on this? I think doing a peace check. What rate of peace do we experience as we ready ourselves for things of the world? When our focus is on Jesus and we ready ourselves for eternity, what level of peace do we experience?

The things of this world will pass away…guaranteed. The things that are for the kingdom have eternal value…guaranteed.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord that we can experience kingdom things in this world and know they will last forever. I pray that I can let go of worldly worries and focus on you so that I can experience your peace. Amen

Faith Tip: What thing of the world have you been holding onto tightly that you need to hand over to Jesus? Start releasing one finger at a time. You will be glad you did.

Stormy Weather

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:39-41)

Reading the newspaper and watching the news on TV is enough to make anyone fearful. There’s global warming, the economy, violence, wars, earthquakes, and so much more. The media plays up what’s wrong in our world and can take our focus off of what is good. I know from being on retreats where there was no media available that my focus changes. I’m not promoting ignorance of world news, but just to keep it in balance with where our focus should be…on things above.

Today may bring something to you that will make you fearful. Consider this an opportunity to ask yourself, “Why am I so afraid?” Today, consider who Jesus is in your life. What do you really believe about Jesus? Is he the one who quieted the storms by his command? Can he quiet my storms, too? From what the Scriptures say, he can and he will…we only need to receive it.

Prayer: Most Holy God, you have control over all things. You have shown over and over again your love and power. Today, may I remember your goodness and live fearless know who you are.

Faith tip: Make a list of God’s attributes as a reminder of all he is to you. Make a list of things that make you fearful and cross them off as the list of God’s attributes covers the fears you experience.