Dr. Billy Holland: At his voice, the storm became a whisper
Dr. William F. "Billy" Holland Jr. is an ordained minister, community chaplain and author of the "Living on Purpose" faith column. He lives in central Kentucky with his wife, Cheryl.
I spend a lot of time writing, and I try to present a balance of optimism and reality. This is becoming more difficult as we are constantly bombarded with so many things we do not understand. Even more disturbing is to consider how much negativity is going on that we are not aware of.
I’m not implying that we anticipate evil behind every bush or under every rock, but my convictions accept our need to pray for spiritual discernment. I’ve had conversations with individuals who believe that more information is depressing and brings them into a higher level of anxiety. I understand. The idea of knowing less is an attitude that many are choosing to embrace for the sake of their health and well-being.
As a minister, I certainly do not want to add more burdens to the worries and concerns we already struggle with, but learning how to process and manage our thoughts is a key to walking in a stronger faith. Whether we decide to face it or not, we are in a deadly spiritual war and God’s people are called to be His front-line soldiers.
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We’ve all had our share of disappointments and it’s painful, to say the least. Personal problems with finances, health issues and stressful relationships take a heavy toll on us. Many try to escape from the suffering with temporary distractions, but they are just instruments of denial. We can hide behind our fantasies and pleasures for a while, but eventually, we are forced to return to the reality of our situation.
The good news is these cycles can be broken when the desire to be set free becomes greater than the desire to stay on the emotional merry-go-round. So, how can we overcome and claim victory? The first step to walking in the peace that passes all understanding is to make sure our relationship with Christ is where it should be.
Each person lives on a unique spiritual level when it comes to being in love with Jesus, and I pray that all will come to know God while there is an open window of His grace. If we ask Him to save us He will, and if we are saved we can repent and be restored into a glorious fellowship with Him. “For he says, in the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” II Corinthians 6:2.
I’m not trying to be a bearer of gloom, but I believe many things are coming that will be very disturbing. Sadly, there has been much deception and we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. The more truth that is revealed the more we need to be careful about who we trust.
We are told in II Timothy Chapter 4 there are seducing spirits and doctrines of devils that are attempting to sear our conscience like a hot iron. Matthew Chapter 24 warns us about false prophets and how sin will increase and love will decrease. Luke Chapter 21 also mentions shocking events that will come upon the earth and how people’s hearts will fail them from fear.
We look around today and ask ourselves: What did we think the end times would look like? Listen, my brothers and sisters, the perfect love that cast out fear is centered in our passionate love for God. How can we love God with all of our hearts if we do not know Him? When we truly know Him, we can place our trust in Him completely and will be able in His strength to endure whatever happens.
I encourage you today to invest more time with God. We can be as close to Him as we want. Turn your attention away from the voices of chaos and confusion and allow Him to prepare your heart and renew your mind with His thoughts.
In our search for truth, remember He is the way, the truth, and the life. May we allow His personal instructions to bring protection, wisdom, purity, hope, and encouragement into our lives so that we can abide in the peace and joy of knowing that all is well with our soul. “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed” Psalm 107:28-29.