Meridian Star

September 14, 2013

From the Shepherd’s Heart

By Dr. John A. Temple / guest columnist
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — A common denominator in society is a universal fear of the future.             Obamacare, the supposed health care solution for our nation, has raised more issues than it has solved. This week, we were reminded of terrorists’ attacks on our country.

    The uncertainty of economics seems to reflect the fragile confidence of investors. Few, if any, cheer the future and expect good news.

    Confidence is a product of faith. If I have faith in a medical doctor, I trust his/her care. If I have a wise counselor, I do what he/she advises. If I have a good friend, I trust his/her faithfulness. If I trust the pilot, I can sleep on an airplane.

    The psalmist speaks of his confidence to face hard times. “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” Regardless of the threat, his trust is in God. Like chicks that run to a mother hen whenever they feel threatened, people of faith run to the Lord when trouble comes.

    Knowing where shelter and protection are surely gives confidence to enjoy the day instead of cowering in fear in some dark corner.  

    Because of my trust in Christ, I have five votes of confidence:

    1. I refuse to be shackled by yesterday’s failures. Many times I have failed. But my failures cannot claim today’s blessings. Through God’s forgiveness, I bury the past and allow each day to stand on its own merit. The Lord is the author of my second chance to do better than yesterday.

    2. What I don’t know will no longer be an intimidation. It will be considered an opportunity. I know that God is working in ways I will never know to protect me, guide me, love me and keep me. It is who I know, not what I know, that brings peace.

    3. I will not allow people to define my mood, method, image or mission. My life is lived for the approval of God, not man. At the end of each day I want to Lord to smile because I stayed on mission for Him.

    4. I will pursue a mission greater than myself - to make at least one person happy that they saw me. I want to make a difference in life. I may not solve everything, but I can solve something.

    5. I will never have time for self-pity, gossip or negativism from myself or others. I am looking for celebrations, expecting God’s blessings, and deciding that I am happy. After all, happiness is a choice!

    Why not join me in living this next week in confidence instead of fear. God is still on the throne!

    Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www.