Dr. Dan Coflin
Pastor, River of Life Church
Isn’t it interesting how we tend to give titles to different times of the year according to common hardships people experience collectively such as cold and flu season at the beginning of winter. Springtime is often referred to as allergy season, and then there is flea and tick season, tax season, and even some less enlightened football widows would include football season in the list of dreadful times. We tend to have seasons for everything under the sun. Tourist season is great for business but clogs the roadways, making the locals’ long commutes even longer. Then there is hurricane season, and the lists go on and on.
Wouldn’t it be great if we considered seasons that are named by more pleasant experiences? How about a joyous season or season of health and wealth followed by seasons of forgiveness and peace? Seasons of giving, sharing, comforting, and helping could replace seasons of hardship, trouble, and tragedy. What if these were not just seasonally activities, but continuous experiences?
Just like the onset of sniffles or fever causes people to take preventative actions with flu shots or mega doses of vitamin C, so we should take preventative actions at the first symptoms of fear, criticism, suspicion, or offense.
Writing to the Church at Ephesus, the apostle Paul says that our struggle is not with flesh and blood (people), but with principalities, powers, the rulers of darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in heavenly places (Eph. 6:12).
In other words, Paul is saying that much of our struggle and conflict is to be attributed to unseen evil forces that operate in the realm of deception. Remember when you stood in line in the fourth grade and reached around the boy in front of you to pull the hair of the girl in front of him so he got the blame when she turned around to complain? Many times, we are blaming the wrong person for pulling our hair.
People are hurt and broken, wounded by words spoken, afraid of what season is around the corner. What if we consider the real enemy of our faith and quit blaming others for the opposing winds and waves? We should recognize the symptoms as soon as the irritations begin and refrain from complaining about the season or accepting its unavoidability.
Instead, address the real culprit behind the scenes not allowing blame, accusation, suspicion or “feelings” of defeat and depression to overwhelm us and steal our joy and peace. Jesus said, “be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33).
The world is not the planet, but the systems of how things work that are outside of the will of God. The “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4) refers to Satan and his work of deception and lying, symptoms that bring storms of doubt and fear that cause some to live in seasons of perpetual chaos. Jesus overcame the world, not for himself, but for us. Who is a world “overcomer” but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 Jn. 5:5)?
May we be quick to recognize the early symptoms of trouble and give no place to the enemy knocking on the door. Jesus overcame the world for us so we can live above the circumstances and enjoy every season of life.
Dr. Dan Coflin and his wife Dianne co-pastor River of Life Church at 410 E. Chapman Rd. in Lutz, FL. 33549, (813) 949-9931, www.roltampa.org We would love to invite you to visit River of Life Church.
Our lively worship begins at 10:30am on Sunday. We are a non-denominational, spirit-filled ministry. Please honor us with your visit. We would love to have you!