April 17, 2020
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At the time, the Thresher was the fastest and quietest nuclear submarine there was. Until that awful day in 1963 when it suddenly disappeared in the Atlantic. All 129 crew members were lost. When they finally located the doomed sub, they found it broken into six pieces. The cause of the deadliest submarine disaster in history, actually, has been hard to nail down. But ultimately it seems the Thresher collapsed because they were at a depth, for whatever reason, where the pressure on the outside became greater than the pressure on the inside.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Pandemic Pressure and Sinking Hopes."
For sure, the upheaval from the coronavirus pandemic seemed to shake almost every area of our lives. Our jobs, our kids' schooling, our family life, our sports, our entertainment, our ability to pay our bills, retirement plans, even our shopping - it's hard to think of an area of our lives that was not suddenly turned upside down. And with it, there's been a lot of fear. A lot of anxiety. A lot of discouragement. Even despair.
It's been a deep dive for all of us. And the pressure has revealed some things we normally don't see when life is speeding along. Social distance and staying home can uncover the cracks in our closest relationships. The almost overnight ravaging of our financial security has exposed that a lot we've called security isn't secure. And we're not in control, after all.
But there's evidence of a spiritual phenomenon taking place. Google reports an explosion of internet searches on the subject of prayer. Lifeway reported a 62% increase in Bible sales in one week. Usually we're too busy, too self-assured for God. But not when our "go to" things suddenly get up and go. Not when we feel - to use a word the Bible uses to describe us - we feel lost.
The pressure on the outside has become greater than the pressure on the inside. And that can sink you. Whatever or whoever we've been hanging onto suddenly isn't enough to withstand the stress. Or to provide any real hope.
When we're facing something much bigger than we are, we desperately need something - or someone - much bigger than what we're facing. And the Bible makes it clear that one thing hasn't changed - ever. And never will. Psalm 29:11, our hope-filled word for today from the Word of God says: "The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever. The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace."
It's when we really need God, when we start to reach for Him, that we discover the distance between us and Him. In the Bible's stark words, "Your sins have separated you from your God" (Isaiah 59:2). In a way the word sin can be defined with just two words - "My way." God gave me my life. I acted like I'm God and I've done my life my way, not His way. So it's like there's a wall between me and a holy, sinless God.
Oh, but that same Bible has some mind-blowing good news. The God we've ignored and disobeyed loves us too much to leave that wall there. Listen to how incredibly God loves you - "He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross" (1 Peter 2:24). When Jesus was dying on that Good Friday, He was carrying the guilt, the shame, the hell for every wrong thing I've ever done. Then He walked out of His grave under His own power to offer the gift of eternal life.
The day you pin all your hopes on Him is the day you welcome Him into your life. And then you have anchored your life and your future to a hope and a love no loss on earth can touch.
If the pressure of our times has shown you how very much you need a relationship with God, let this be the day you tell Jesus, "I'm Yours." Let me give you our web address so you can go there today and find out how to be sure you belong to Jesus. It's ANewStory.com.
There will be things that are bigger than you can handle. But with Jesus in your life, you can be unsinkable!