FROM YOUR PASTOR’S HEART August 28,2023
We cannot help but notice the rising crime rate in our city, our state, our nation and the world. Evil continues to abound, in spite of the efforts of law enforcement officials to curtail it and our churches to overcome it. We awake every morning to the grim report of the numerous acts of violence that have taken place in our city overnight. There was a time when I prayed for God to allow us just 24 hours without someone dying at the hands of another human being in the city of Memphis. Now, we hear of several people being shot and injured, with many being killed in our area, every single day.
We know that Memphis is not alone in dealing with the problem of rising crime. We continually hear of violence taking place in other cities across our nation, and around the globe. It is not merely a local problem to be blamed on area leadership. It is not a political problem that will be resolved by an election. It is a sin problem that can be found among every people group and is prevalent in every corner of the world.
We are told in Psalm 37:1-2, “Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.” We know that God is still in control of His world and that He will punish the workers of iniquity, in due time. Yet, the fret and worry that we feel comes from the here and now. How do we contend with the threats of violence that surround us and the people that we love? How do we protect our families and our friends from harm in this evil society? Even as believers in Christ, we are vulnerable to the worldly wickedness.
The answers to these questions are found in the next two verses of this psalm. We read in Psalm 37:3-4, “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” God does not want His people to live in fear, but to walk by faith. If we truly believe that He is Omnipotent (All Powerful), Omniscient (All Knowing) and Omnipresent (Always Present), then we can trust Him to protect us and provide for us. We are warned not to follow the path of the evildoers, but to do good, to dwell in the place God plants us, to rely on His faithfulness to watch over us, and to enjoy the life that He has given to each one of us. David’s proclamation stems from his own walk with God, as he assures us that the Lord will give us the desires of our heart!
Serving in love, Bro. Jim