How Do You Continue to Find Jesus with Matthew West
What would you say if someone asked you, “How do you continue to find Jesus in the darkness, in the pain and all the things that we as a world are struggling with today?” That’s the question Family Life Radio asked during a conversation with Matthew West.
In the backdrop of a world marred by adversity and uncertainty, many of us struggle to keep our faith anchored. Whether it’s global challenges or personal tribulations, these storms can often cause us to question our capacity to stay steady.
Joking, Matthew smiled and said, “It’s too early for this question.” But then in his own honest and straightforward way, he shared some powerful words that can encourage you today.
“The world is a rough place is an understatement – at best. There’s no doubt. I wish I could say I could give you like a super Christian answer about how I cope with the darkness and hard times in our world. I could project, as a as a professional Christian, who sings about Jesus and make everybody think, Wow! He’s really got a handle on things.”
- Be honest in your struggles.
“Ever since I wrote a song called ‘Truth Be Told,’ I have that little nagging voice in the back of my head that says, maybe be honest about how you’re not so cool, calm and collected, when the world has gotten turned upside down.”
He emphasized the importance of honesty with our fears and anxieties. Admitting our fears and struggles can lead us to seeking help and comfort from God.
“When the world for shut down and our tour buses were parked, I was kind of panicking. I remember being glued to the news, and they had that little death toll climbing. I’d just wake up every morning riddled with anxiety about it.”
Matthew points out he never had panic attacks before, but after experiencing neck pain, he went for an MRI. He said, “I’m not claustrophobic, but suddenly, I had a full-on panic attack.” He said it happened a few more times and caused him to wonder to himself, What is wrong with me?
2. Turn to God in Times of Fear
Drawing from the Biblical story of the disciples in the storm, Matthew points to the importance of turning to Jesus in moments of great distress. “I remember I found comfort in the story of the disciples getting into a boat with Jesus. The storm came and Jesus was sound asleep. The disciples followed Jesus, the miracle worker, the Messiah, the one they’d seen do unbelievable things, but when a storm came they weren’t cool, calm or collected. They weren’t like Tom Brady in the huddle. Right? They were freaking out.”
We can find grace in that part of the story. The Bible says the disciples were sure they were going to drown (Matthew 8:23-27). “So, there wasn’t even a part of their mind that was like – we’re good because we got Jesus.” Matthew continued, “They freaked out, and then they chose to seek out the One who they knew could save them. And what did Jesus do? He calmed the waters. Right?”
We can also find peace in our turmoil by turning to God.
No matter how challenging our circumstances, God has the power to bring peace. “I am trying to be like some kind of Christian singer who is an authority on spiritual matters, and then I’m like I’m freaking out.” Matthew admitted. “I felt like the Lord showed me that Scripture in a new light. … Sometimes my human instincts is going to be to freak out. Let me bring that to You then. Let me seek out the One who I know can calm the storm around me and within me.”
3. Recognize Grace for the Moment
Grace is the promise of a new beginning and the hope that can sustain us through every second of life. Recognizing and accepting this grace can provide comfort and encouragement during difficult times.
“We need grace for every moment,” Matthew said. “It’s funny; I joke with my audience just sometimes on stage. I’ll ask how many people are coming to see my show for the first time. It’s always way more people than I want. Because they’re like, where you been on my life? I tell them, ‘Well, let me tell you about myself.’ And I joke that I googled myself one time. I did some research, and I found the word grace is in more of my lyrics than any other word.”
“I think about grace for the moment, like one of my personal mission statements.”
“I write and sing songs about what I know I need, what I know I don’t deserve and what gives me hope to wake up every morning.”
Matthew continues, “GRACE is the answer to all three of those. It’s the promise of the new beginning. It’s a promise that my first instincts might stink, but there is grace for the moment – grace for every second — and that’s the hope I have. That’s why I sing, because other people need that message too.”
In the grand scheme of our faith journey, our struggles and fears are temporary, while God’s grace and love are eternal. This divine grace is the reassurance in Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (NIV).
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