The Benchmark

The Benchmark

Sunday, April 19, 2020

How are you holding up, church? The longer this Pandemic continues, the deeper our fears can run. Uncertainty can create an atmosphere of instability. When is this going to be over? How bad is it going to get? How am I going  to recover after losing my job? Then in an attempt to try to get some answers we look to the media to get some semblance of hope only to find a myriad of conspiracy theories, political posturing, contradictory information and tragic stories. We end up getting tied up in knots because the real answer to our peace can’t be found there. I thought about our need for a Benchmark (that standard by which similar things are measured or judged) for maintaining a healthy state of mind. I considered the early pioneers of our nation who had no internet, no Google, no 24/7 newsfeeds. How did they find comfort in the midst of uncertainty?

Then I thought of David in the Bible who took care of his father’s sheep. There was danger involved. He had to kill a lion and a bear on two separate occasions. He got his peace by looking up and within. His job was out in the open air. His television was the sky. His faith in God was built up as he considered the beauty of God’s tapestry above him. Consider this psalm he wrote. Psalm 19:1-14 (NIV)

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3  There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4  Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, 5  which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6  It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat. 7  The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8  The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9  The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. 10  They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. 11  By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 12  Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. 13  Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. 14  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (emphasis mine)

Psalm 8:1-9 (NIV)
1  O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 2  From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. 3  When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4  what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 5  You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings (God) and crowned him with glory and honor. 6  You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: 7  all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, 8  the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. 9  O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! 

God has promised us that he would never leave us or forsake us. God is all-good and knows the end from the beginning with only our best interest in mind. Nothing happens apart from his will. If we will look to him and believe what he said, we will find the peace we’re looking for. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34