Summary: Want to figure out how to cure the winter blues? The cold weather and all those bills can really get a person down but if we remember we are the Lord's portion by sovereign choice, by purchase, by conquest and by faith we can leap for joy!
The Lord’s Portion
Online Sermon: http://www.mckeesfamily.com/?page_id=3567
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As frosted air forces its way into our lungs and our teeth chatter as we jar our frozen car door open in the darkness of the morning, we can’t help but feel a tidal wave of depression consume our soul. How long will it be until the sun produces enough radiant heat to not only melt our snow-packed, ice covered roads but also warm the cackles of our hearts? If the cold was not enough to freeze and paralyze our lives, Christmas is over and now we must face the reality that the “stuff” we purchased to help escape the pain and sorrows of life have only succeeded in leaving us drowning in a mountain of debt. While this description of January might seem melodramatic for some, for more than half of the populace it is extremely difficult to feel unspeakable joy during wintery trials and tribulations. Even though we know in our hearts winter will end, these “jars of clay,” which are impatient and fragile, can’t help but be a little more depressed and irritable each time the temperature drops, or snowflakes fall! To cure us of these winter blues this sermon is going to invite us to not focus on the hot sun we have lost but, on the Son, whom has blessed us in the heavenly realms!
Depressed, it is Winter!
One in five people fall victim to the winter blues. People tend to get more depressed, anxious, gain more weight and have less energy in the winter months than during any other time of the year! Going to work and arriving home in the dark, trying to pay off credit card debts accumulated from Christmas, the quickly approaching tax returns and maneuvering in the ice and snow packed terrain has left caused many to experience feelings of hopeless, self-loathing, isolation, anxiety, sadness and guilt. To further exasperate these negative feelings is the fact that death rates are the highest in the months of November to January. While 51 percent of Canadians will experience the winter blues, 5 percent of the population will experience a seasonal affective disorder which means a loss of interest in everyday activities that during the rest of the year brought them great pleasure. Winter not only affects our attitudes but church attendance as well. At McKees Mills Baptist church attendance is about 20 percent lower during January and February, the coldest months of the year!
Looking Through Another Lens
While we cannot snap our fingers and wish winter away, by looking through the lens of Scripture, we can feel unspeakable joy during the coldest and most fidget of days! In the book, Bible and Mission: Christian witness in a Postmodern World, Richard Bauckham defines a metanarrative as being “an attempt to tell a single story about the whole of human history in order to attribute a single and integrated meaning to the whole.” The bible is the only story that qualifies as a metanarrative because only God, the creator and sustainer of the universe, can explain the purpose of man’s existence. “Not only is self tied to knowledge of God, but we know ourselves truthfully only when we know ourselves in relation to God. We know who we are when we can place ourselves – locate our stories – within God’s story.” Since God knit us in our mother’s womb and knows everything about us (Psalms 139), only He can tell us how we can be happy in all circumstances. To overcome the winterly blues then we must look through the lens of Scripture that says we can feel unspeakable joy by remembering we are God’s portion by sovereign choice, by purchase, by conquest and by faith.
God’s Portion by Sovereign Choice
One cure for the winter blues is to remember whom oversees this world. God is to be praised, for out of His infinite wisdom and omnipotence He created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1) according to His pleasure and eternal plan (Ephesians 3:11). God is sovereign (Isaiah 46:10). His heavenly throne is fixed and firm (Hebrews 1:8) and His kingdom rules (1 Timothy 6:15) over all things seen and unseen (Colossians 1:16), from the depths of the earth to the peaks of the Mountain (Psalms 139). His eternal power and divine nature can be clearly seen by examining His providential care of all that He has created (Romans 1:20-21). He keeps the earth on its foundations, the seas within His boundaries and each creature is given fresh water and food in due season (Job 38). When He hides His face from those who refuse to acknowledge His existence and to serve Him, they die and return to the dust in from which they came (Psalms 104:29). He is the breath of life (Job 12:10). While God often allows us to experience many things by chance (Ecclesiastes 9:11) during these cold, fidget months, He still is in control and promises us the strength (Isaiah 40:31) to not only endure winter but to receive good things by His hand during this season (Romans 8:28).