North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    A friend from my childhood and teen years came to me years later as a broken and humble man. He had lived what many called, “life in the fast lane” and he had run out of gas. After he came to his senses and got his life together, he got married and had two beautiful children. He had a steady job, was serving God in a church, teaching Bible classes, and trying to make up for years lost due to his indulgence in alcohol. But, in the midst of this good life, tragedy struck, and his wife passed away. The love of his life was gone, and he turned back to alcohol to relieve his pain. He lost custody of his children, he was stopped multiple times by law enforcement and charged with DUI. He did some jail time but was able to return to society as a freeman.    He called me one day and asked if I could pray for him. He told me he struggled with sin and the temptation to return to the bottle and other various avenues of unhealthy release. I had determined he was a freeman by the world’s standards, but he was shackled by the draw of worldly outlets. We prayed together and now regularly check in by phone. He started running again, which we both share a love for. He has found a renewed meaning for life. He has enrolled in college again to finish his degree and he has committed to overcoming the darksome path he seems to always have to battle. Because of his past indiscretions, he has lost most of his material possessions. But he has committed himself, a fresh and anew to the pathway of hope that is found in Christ. He told me, “I’m clean and I’m not drinking anymore. I need a safe environment while I’m in school and I know I’m going to need help from the friends I have left.”

    My friend needed security in our friendship. He longed for accountability so he could stay true to his commitment. But, most of all he desired the unwavering security that can only be found in Christ. Jesus encourages us when he says, “I have told you these things, so you may have peace in me. In the world you will have much trouble. But take hope! I have power over the world!” Jesus promises that because he has overcome the world’s temptations, we too can find hope to overcome life’s struggles and difficulties.

    Security in Christ can be described in 5 words:

    COUNSEL. We all know counsel comes from many sources for financial, legal, marriage, and family problems. There are professional counselors, newspapers, magazines, radio, and television programs that offer counsel. One must remember, security sought from counsel is deceptive. Trusting ill-advised counsel may be a step from the frying pan into the fire. Real security results from Christ’s counsel.

   CALMNESS. The record number of broken and unhappy homes in this generation is astounding and does not give evidence of a peaceful atmosphere. Seeking peace of mind and heart through financial gain, learning, or psychology is fruitless. The secret of peace of mind and calmness of spirit is found only in Jesus Christ. Christ’s own words from John 14:27 are, “I give you peace and leave it with you. I do not give peace as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled or afraid.”

    CONFLICT. Christians are not immune to trouble. Our world is filled with inescapable conflict. We are in the world, but not of it. The world is Satan’s hottest battlefield in the effort to defeat God’s purposes for our lives. It is true, we are in the scene of conflict. We all sail the troubled seas of life. But we are secure in Christ.

    COMFORT. In this life are many hurtful distractions and discouragement. Friends may let us down, illness may assail us, and burdens may seem too heavy to bear. But Jesus never fails us. Discouragement, despondency, and depression express much of today’s general mood. For all of us, comfort and love are much needed commodities. It is Christ who will bring comfort to all who come to him.

    CONQUEST. It is a fact, we can do nothing though our own weak power, but we can overcome the world through Christ, for we are more than conquerors through him (Romans 8:37). Jesus suffered temptation, persecution, ridicule, and abuse. In spite of this, he declared, “I have overcome the world.” Humanity’s search for security by obtaining possessions, pleasures, and power has failed. Christians can have real security in the present and lasting security in the life to come through Christ.

    Security in life does not have to be a lost cause for you. You have to look in the right place. You have to ask the right person. “Ask, seek, knock,” (Matthew 7:7). Security can be yours, if you want it.

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a Public Health Services Manager for the Florida Department of Health, former U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York, Florida community. His “Living With Purpose” Book series can be found and purchased on www. Amazon.com. You can contact him by email: rmdobson@liberty.edu.

Posted by on Apr 18 2021. Filed under Church News, Churches, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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