Sermons

Summary: Three things I learned from chasing rainbows

“Chasing Rainbows”

September 22, 2019

Genesis 9:11-17

“I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

“And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

Last week was a rainy week for this time of the year. It ended the fire season pretty early this year. My nephew from Minnesota came with a crew to fight fires and they only ended up working a couple of them. With all the rain, they had to drive back home early.

With the rain, we also had the privilege of seeing some pretty cool rainbows. One day, early in the week, I left the house with bright sunshine shining down on me just after it had been raining cats and dogs a few minutes earlier. Above the roof tops, I saw a triple rainbow across the valley. It almost covered that whole part of the sky. I thought, “I have to get a picture of that!” So I jumped in my truck and started driving for a better view. I drove up a hill near my house so I could look down in the valley – but it wasn’t quite good enough. So I drove a little higher and could see through the trees a beautiful rainbow hovering over the scenery – but the trees were in the way! So I drove over on the other side of the hill – and the rainbow had faded to the point that it wasn’t very spectacular. Finally, I gave up and headed to the store. As I drove to Grocery Outlet I thought about what I was doing and kind of chucked at myself for chasing rainbows. As those words came to mind I kind of liked them. “Chasing Rainbows”! It has kind of a ring to it. I started thinking about it from a spiritual perspective and here’ what I came up with.

First, rainbows are beautiful. There are seven colors in the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. I think one of the reasons they are so spectacular is because prior to seeing them our world had been drab and dark and dreary. Then the sun comes out and brings color to our gray world. Our spirits are lifted and our day seems a little brighter in so many ways.

I think spiritually there is a lesson for us here. No matter how dark our day is – it’s going to get better. God gives so much direction on how to brighten up our day. A favorite of mine is found in Philippians chapter 4. God says,

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

In case you missed it - He says it twice! “REJOICE!”

I used to think it was odd that God tells us to rejoice. I thought it was just a reaction to something good happening to us, but apparently, not. We choose to rejoice. It is a directive from God – a command if you will. Now, I have to tell you, when I first came to the Lord, I was anything but joyful. I was negative and depressed and had a pretty negative outlook on life. There ARE a lot of negative things going on in the world. There is a lot of bad, bad stuff happing right now. I watch the news on TV sometimes or read something on the internet and it just makes me sick to my stomach – but God says to rejoice! How can we do that? The answer is to change our focus. God gives us the formula for a happy life. The first thing is to give the negativity to God. He says,

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

“Present your requests to God.” Pray, pray, pray. Don’t have all that anxiety churning your stomach and burning your brain so you can’t sleep. Give it to God. Sometimes I tell Him that I can’t handle it. I’m giving my concerns to Him. And I dust my hands off. Unfortunately, I often want to take it right back again – so I have to work at releasing it to Him.

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