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HOW TO LIVE AND RESPOND IN TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY AND TURBULENCE

I’d like to tell you the story of how I was prompted to do this FaceBook Live.

Yesterday I was flying home from Amsterdam having spent time with my sister and brother in law. My flight was delayed by two hours as both sides of the north sea where experiencing very high winds so much so that only one of the runways at Schiphol Airport was open as it was too dangerous to take off on the other four. Sitting on the tarmac by the gate the plane was moving in the wind.

It was a very bumpy take off and landing. At 24000 ft over the north sea was smooth. Coming into Stansted you could feel the plane moving in the wind and the thought went through my head are we actually going to land the runway or land on the grass. As we were ascending we needed to change direction and a moment of fear crossed mind ‘will the plane be tipped over by a strong gust of wind?’ I quickly had to make a course correction in my mind. I reminded myself that I am a daughter of my heavenly Father and I am safe in His hands. As I stepped back into that peace, fear went.

The turbulence reminded me of this season in the UK, we seem to be bumping along at the moment. How are we all doing personally and as the Body of Christ in these turbulent times?

This coming week could well be a historic one in the UK that could find its way into future history books.

Firstly I want to remind us of some general Scriptures that are truth in times of peace and times of turbulence and uncertainty.

Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is unchanging and His word is unchanging and navigates through times of peace and time of uncertainty.

He’s the same if we’re in the EU or out of the EU.

Romans 14:8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

He’s the same if we’re in the EU or out of the EU. Whether living for you is to remain and so dying is leaving in either case we belong to the Lord.

Isaiah 43: 1-2 But now, says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob and He who formed you, O Israel ‘Fear not for I have redeemed you: I have called you by your name, You are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned. Nor shall the flame scorch you.

Take a moment to reflect over your life and see how Jesus has been there guiding you, protecting you, watching out for you, loving you.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given And the government will be upon His shoulder and His name will be called, Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Think for a moment we are entwined with the Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

I Samuel 30:6 Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

Psalm 46:10-11: Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.

Like me you may have been thinking the consequences to the upcoming vote on the Brexit Bill. You read the newspapers, listen to news, hear speeches in the Commons.

At the moment Parliament is 3 days into a 5 day debate on the EU Withdrawal Agreement and the Future Framework for relations negotiated by the Government with the European Union. At the end of the five days of debate, which is next Tuesday, MPs will vote on the agreement in a ‘meaningful vote’.

It’s led me to thinking through some of my emotions, hopes, concerns etc.

What are some of our emotions at this time, fear, anger, anxiety, concern?

What will the future look like if we leave or if we remain?

Some say it’s the best thing that we leave, others say our economy is doomed if we leave – who is right?

You could be feeling fearful of the future of your business, your work, our national economy etc etc. Fearful for the future of your children and grandchildren.

How do we ‘live in unity’ in the family of God when the vote hasn’t gone in our favour, the way we voted in the referendum.

How do I respond to someone at work, in my family, in my sphere of influence who didn’t ‘get the outcome they wanted’ and is in a strop!

How do we respond to our internal fears, concerns and lack of certainty, fear and lack of hope all around?

If there’s a second referendum or a General Election, some could say ‘whatever happened to democracy’.

So many thoughts and questions gripping the hearts and minds not only of believers but the world.

I’m reminded of the story of Jehosaphat in 2 Chronicles 20. The army was coming against him and the nation, he called the people (men, women and children) together and worshipped and prayed. He ended his prayer with ‘we don’t know what to do’. Sounds a familiar situation! But he went on ‘OUR EYES ARE ON YOU’.

Let’s look at some more of the positive truths based on the Word of God. John said ‘You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.’ John 8.32

‘As my dear husband, Peter would have said ‘Dear, God hasn’t fallen off His Throne’. The truth is ‘He knows the plans He has for us, plans to give us a hope and a future.’ The plans He has for my world, my family, my work, my career. Jeremiah 29:11

Nothing can separate me from the love of my Heavenly Father. In His love He makes a way where there is no way and that applies to ourselves, our jobs, our futures? Let’s remind ourselves that He always does incredibly more than we can ask or think. ….

God is our refuge and strength a very present help in time of trouble. Ps 46

In time of uncertainty and turbulence it’s important we respond out of who we are in Christ. I am a son or a daughter of my Heavenly Father, that’s my primary identity and as that daughter or son I am secure in His love, I am secure in my future, my family is secure in him. I am secure.

In times of uncertainty and turbulence it also important we check our hearts, our emotions and responses.

I have been working through an issue this week and heard myself like a small child sitting on the floor saying ‘I’m not going to let you play with my toys’. Oops, think something might be wrong here. Then Father God reminded me of the verse ‘freely you have received, freely give’. My internal response was one of a selfish child not of a mature daughter of my Heavenly Father based on His love and His word of freedom. Tough as it was I had to be vulnerable and deal with the issue.

One of the issues we will have to deal with is what’s in our hearts. As someone I knew years ago said ‘the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart’ and that is so true.

‘Well, I knew I was right when I voted’. Um! Is that pride or arrogance? Or may be fear, anxiety, anger, hopelessness, disappointment.

Let’s be courageous along with David when he said to God in Psalm 139: 23 & 24
Search me O God and know my heart I pray, see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.

Can I invite you to respond to the upcoming vote with courage and boldness as a son or daughter of your Heavenly Father, to take the lead in love and compassion in your sphere of influence? Jesus said ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength and love your neighbour as you love yourself. Who is my neighbour in this instance?

Family of God, this is one of our finest hours, let’s lay down our weapons of judgment, let’s love our ‘enemies’, let’s link arms in unity and stand with the certain hope of Jesus and lead in our spheres. 2 Chronicles 5

Perhaps this is one of the greatest windows of evangelistic opportunities we have to show and bring the love Jesus. The spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me,

We have a hope that is steadfast and certain and that hope is Jesus.

I bless you in the name of Jesus.

Caroline

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