Pentecostal Sermons & Bible Studies by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.

You CAN Find Peace & Stability in These Rapidly Changing Times

Introduction:  In February 2021, a bitter freeze in Texas severely impaired the state’s electrical supply, causing widespread hardships and bringing much of Texas to a standstill. In stark contrast, just 4 months later in June 2021, a historic heat wave in Canada and the USA’s Pacific Northwest led to more than 100 heat-related casualties and severe distress to many others. Lytton, British Columbia, set the all-time Canadian national heat record at 121 degrees! In Canada, not the Sahara Desert!

On the social/cultural scene, in June 2021 the USA celebrated “Pride Month by unapologetically praising and encouraging homosexual conduct that is clearly condemned by God in the Scriptures of the Bible. Over the past year or more (2020-21) in many of America’s cities we have experienced numerous protests that often evolved into violent riots, which were shamelessly reported by many of the media as “mostly peaceful”! In some cities where law enforcement has been held back by government edict, lawlessness and violence have run amok and honorable citizens are fleeing to safer states. Many cities have changed laws so that girls and women are no longer safe from men who are allowed into women’s restrooms, spas, and locker rooms. Many, many millions of innocent American babies have been executed in their mothers’ wombs since 1973. I could go on and on with examples. The wonderful nation I grew up in during the 1940s and 1950s is almost unrecognizable today.

Changes—most of them bad—are happening so rapidly in America today that lives by the millions are being disrupted. For example, I know a family in a U.S. city whose young daughter was going to be forced to share the public school bathroom with 7th and 8th grade boys! Her God-fearing parents, thankfully, pulled her from the school, sold their home, and moved to an area where reason and Scriptural truth still prevailed.

Many of you may be asking, “Where can I find peace and stability in rapidly changing, deteriorating times like these?” There are answers in Scripture. Turn with me to them, and be encouraged! There is hope, much hope.

Psalm 125:1-2  Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.

Over the course of a lifetime, most of us have been disappointed—perhaps even greatly let down—by people we had trusted. By contrast, the Scriptures speak of those who “trust in the Lord” as being like a mountain which cannot be shaken but endures forever.

I’m age 78 as I write this. Over my long life people, even those I trusted, have at times failed me. I imagine your experience may have been similar. We shouldn’t be surprised. Since Adam and Eve fell in the Garden of Eden, sin has been a universal factor in the lives of men and women, boys and girls. Not one person has ever been exempt from that inner, post-Garden-of-Eden sin nature, except the One glorious exception—Jesus, the Son of God who came from heaven and was born on earth in human flesh (John 1:1, 14) and died for our sins on the Cross. He did this to redeem from sin all who will place their faith and trust in Him.

Trust in God the Father, who loves you so much He sent His Son to die for your salvation. Trust in His Son Jesus, the Lord and Savior, who in His death and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) made a way for you into God’s grace, love, and eternal life. Trust in the Holy Spirit of God, the 3rd divine person of the Trinity, who dwells in the hearts (and bodies) of those who look to Jesus in repentance and faith (Acts 20:21).

Even in the most chaotic of earthly times, you who put your trust in the Lord will be “like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken,” because our faithful “Lord surrounds His people both now and forevermore.” As Jesus said to His followers, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

John 16:33
  “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.”

Again, where in these rapidly changing, tumultuous times can we find peace and stability? Jesus answered that personally. He tells His followers (applicable in every century) that we will find peace in Him. The Lord did not allow His hearers to be naive, though, reminding them (and us) that “in this world you will have trouble.”

So that is a given—trouble is part of our expected experience in this fallen world. Jesus told us so. However, He also said in the very next breath, “But take heart! I [Jesus] have overcome the world.” Therefore, it’s possible and desirable for us, who live in this fallen and sin-permeated world, to encounter troubles, trials, and tribulations and yet to have victory in them because of Jesus! Here are a few verses I memorized long ago that give me great hope and courage as I face the world’s troubles with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ:

1 Corinthians 15:57  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:37  In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

2 Corinthians 2:14, KJV  Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.

John 8:31-32, KJV
  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Along with the wonderful Person of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, we have another source of great peace and stability as we navigate life in this world. And that is the Scriptures of the Bible, the written Word of God. To those Jewish hearers who had believed in Him, Jesus pointed them further to the importance of continuing in His Word. If they had this remarkable duet of confidence—faith in Jesus and in His Word—He said they would be blessed three ways:

• They would be His “disciples indeed,” which is a great and holy privilege.
• They would know the truth—God’s truth, not man’s.
• And that truth would make them (and us) free!

My wife and I, in these our senior years, greatly enjoy a daily morning Bible study together at our kitchen table. Even though we’ve both been saved more than 50 years, we find that the Holy Spirit opens up God’s Word to us more and more each time we prayerfully read and discuss it. And as Jesus promised, that holy Word reveals to us the one and only deposit of infallible truth (God’s truth) and continually makes us free in the midst of a dark, sin-saturated world around us.

Hebrews 12:28
  Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.

Our Lord said to His disciples, “Take heart!” Why? How can we when the world around us has so much pain, suffering, heartache, and evil? The answer is found in which kingdom we are part of. Geographically, for example, I’m a citizen of the “kingdom” of the USA. But that is only temporary and very transient. The all-important, permanent kingdom I and all followers of Christ belong to by the new birth is the kingdom of God, of heaven.

Satan too has a kingdom (Matthew 12:26). Those without Jesus in their life as Lord and Savior belong to the devil's horrible spiritual kingdom (John 8:44). Thanks be to God, everyone has the option of being delivered from the power and kingdom of darkness and being brought into the kingdom of God’s Son Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:13). And this is done simply and eternally through sincere repentance for sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21).

The wonderful result? We enter into and receive “a kingdom that cannot be shaken”! The kingdom of God is an everlasting, all-powerful kingdom. And by being saved/born again through Jesus Christ, you become a citizen spiritually of that unshakable kingdom even now! And also forevermore!

Philippians 4:6-7
  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

There is peace, there is hope, there is stability in the tumultuous times we live in. Those things are found in a saving relationship with God the Father through repentance and faith in His crucified and resurrected Son Jesus Christ.

As born-again believers, as citizens of God’s great and unshakable kingdom, we are encouraged by the apostle Paul not to be anxious about things. Paul tells us to come to God in prayer and thanksgiving with our specific requests. The wonderful result? “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

In Sum:

• Those who trust in the Lord, even in the hardest of times, cannot be shaken.

• Jesus encouraged us in the midst of the world’s troubles to “take heart,” for He has overcome the world and allows us to partake of His victory and His peace.

• His Word the Bible is for us an unshakable foundation of truth and freedom.

• Remember, as born-again followers of Jesus, you belong to a “kingdom that cannot be shaken.”

• Don’t allow yourself to become anxious, fretful, and full of cares. Instead, look to God in prayer and thanksgiving for your daily needs and requests. And as a result God’s blessed peace will replace those cares and anxieties and will wonderfully “guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

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©2021, James H. Feeney.
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Pentecostal Sermons
and Bible Studies by
Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.