by Pastor Tim Burt
I was recently pulling on to a ramp to a four lane freeway. As I was heading down the lane to merge into traffic, I saw something ahead that was hard to make out. As I got closer, I could see that it was a mother duck leading her baby ducklings across the ramp toward the center of the freeway with rush hour traffic going on. Even if she could have crossed all the lanes which wouldn’t have been possible, the freeway was divided by a tall cement medium. She was walking them into a death trap. I can only figure that she was disoriented because it made no sense. I pulled along side of her on the left to honk and try to scare them back to the side of the road which worked. The experience triggered me into deep thought.
I suddenly found myself thinking about people that find themselves in desperate situations that make decisions that make no sense whatsoever to anyone but themselves. I’ve seen desperate mothers or desperate fathers with small children make decisions that would hurt they and their children. But I’ve seen people of every kind make desperate decisions that would only make things worse. Desperate situations don’t discriminate. They seem to appear in everyone life at one time or another. Unfortunately, many people only make things worse at times like this. I think there are three factors that contribute to desperate people making decisions that make things worse. They are, fear, poor self esteem, and hopelessness.
When times feel desperate, circumstances also begin to look hopeless feeling like things will never get better. People do get hopeless at times like this.
In most cases, these desperate situations did not happen overnight. Things began to erode over a period of time. When prolonged trouble prevails and people can’t seem to get out from under it, they lose confidence in themselves to do or get anything right. They begin to feel like a failure and the devil is there to be sure to accuse and confirm that they are a failure. What ever confidence there ever was has been replaced by low or no self esteem.
And then there is the fear factor. The self esteem had deteriorated from low to nothing, hopelessness has begun to root into their emotions, and fear of more bad screams at every turn. This is when people begin to defy any common sense and make decisions that are disastrous in the making. They are no longer thinking of big picture. They are thinking of temporary relief even if it makes no sense. Thus, disastrous decisions are made that steal life!
Jesus spoke simple but powerful life-changing words to bring supernatural comfort and hope in desperate times. He said, Matthew 11:28-30 “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”
Jesus knew He was the solution to their fears, hopelessness, and low self esteem. He wanted to take their back breaking yokes or troubles and burdens and help them turn their life around. He said His burden was light.
1 Thes. 4:13 encourages us not to be like people that have no hope saying, “And now, brothers and sisters, I want you to know what will happen… so you will not be full of sorrow like people who have no hope.” God never wants us to lose hope! Psalm 31:24 says, “So be strong and take courage,all you who put your hope in the Lord!” He is our hope!
Self esteem that comes from anywhere other than the Lord is pride! Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing.” Everything good thing we do, we do because the Lord helps us whether we realize it or not! It’s only when we reverence the Lord and lean constantly on His help, that we know He is the source of all we have. This is the place where we can have strong confidence – not in ourselves but confidence in Him as our helper in all things! Proverbs 14:26 says, “Those that reverence the Lord can live in strong confidence and assurance that He will be a refuge to them and their children.”
Finally, fear must be cast out of our life. Why? Because it’s destructive! 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” Did you see that? “Perfect love drives out fear…” This isn’t about us being perfect in love. It’s about God’s perfect love for us and our trust in that love. When you trust that God loves you and cares about every situation in your life – when you believe that He is there to help you in every situation despite how desperate things look, then you are walking in His perfect love. It drives out fear.
Desperate times manage to find their way into our life like ants find cracks. In those times, you can become fearful, hopeless, and let your esteem be destroyed. It will lead you to make disastrous decisions. Or, you can hope in the God of all hope, get your esteem and confidence by learning to lean on Him, and be one to cast out fear. If you do, then even in desperate times, you can make sound decisions knowing that the Lord will help restore your life and circumstances to a better place!
Psalm 33:20 “We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.“
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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