PUCKETT: Return to the basics

“When you feel life is out of focus, return to the basics.” This is a statement from that classic movie, “Karate Kid.”

He went on to say, “Breathe in; breathe out.” That is good counsel for times like these, but there must be more than simply breathing. And there is, but it certainly begins with something as basic as purposely inhaling and exhaling.

Next would be food and shelter. The apostle Paul told Timothy, in 1 Timothy 6:8, “And having food and clothing [shelter], with these we shall be content.”

After the basics of life, we must consider social order. We have been placed in certain situations among other people. Without social order, it becomes survival of the fittest: “Get all you can and can all you get.” That is where government comes in.

Government in its simplest form is to serve and protect. Government is supposed to serve the greater good of all.

For a moment, try to disregard the excesses and politics and government, and consider what the apostle Paul counseled in the epistle to the Romans, chapter 13, verse 1: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”

Our supreme authority must be the Word of God — the Bible. We could be cast on some remote place, but if we have the Bible and allegiance to what it says, we will thrive and flourish.

At this point, we are breathing, we have food and shelter, now let us address authority: (1) God is in control. Whatever is going on, He has it in His hands. (2) God has many ministers; He has preachers who counsel us in matters of the soul, life, and moral conduct. But, in Romans 13:4, Paul continues that the governing authority is “God’s minister to you for good.” It’s easier to believe that when you know that Proverbs, chapter 21, verse 1 declares, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; like the rivers of water, He turns it wherever He wishes.”

With all the confusion of differing opinions, and even some conflicting “facts,” we must put our stock in Almighty God. It may be a tired cliché, but it is true: “We do not know what the future holds, but we know Who [God] holds the future.”

We must “trust in the LORD with all our heart, and lean not on our own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). Almighty God has this! It may not turn out like we desire. Things may get worse before they get better. The only really safe place is to be in the hand of God.

The Old Testament man, Job, said, in the book of Job, chapter 13, verse 15, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” That may seem a little extreme, but what better place to put our lives than in the hands of the God of all eternity.