Enjoying the Journey
I rarely post on the Lord’s day, but this Sunday is an unusual day for many churches and church members. Social media has been filled this week with updates, instructions, and explanations from pastors and Christian leaders about the current pandemic and the varied responses. These are challenging days for those who have been called to guide God’s people in a church, school, or ministry. They are challenging days for us all!
Perhaps your church is not meeting this week as normal – or perhaps it is. Either way there are a few things all of God’s people can do for the work of God where they are…
- Pray for your pastor. All who lead need divine wisdom. This is why we are told “first of all” to pray for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Believers should be praying for the President, the Vice President, federal, state, and local leaders…and, yes, for the under shepherds who must continue to oversee the Lord’s flock. While many are watching for your physical, financial, and social health, do not forget the ones who “watch for your souls” (Hebrews 13:17). They are making difficult decisions and will be encouraged by the prayerful support of each member.
- Speak in faith and not unbelief. This is not a time to criticize or complain. Submit to authority and rejoice that you are alive. When you talk about what is going on in the world always speak of the greatness of God and speak in hope. Lead your family and friends by example to do the same. You may not be able to shake hands or give a hug, but your can share a smile and a good word about the Lord!
- Give. When people get anxious there is a tendency to go into panic mode. They begin to think of their own survival and comfort. Remember that God always takes care of His children! Do not rob God of His tithe. Refuse to hold back on your offerings. In times like these local churches, Christian missionaries, and the poor need God’s people to be faithful in their giving. This is the Lord’s way and His economy always works.
- Minister to the lonely and hurting. In our current context the elderly and ill are most at risk. Some are quarantined or isolated. Visitors are few and it would be easy to get overwhelmed with negative thoughts. Write a card. Send a text message. Make a phone call. Share a Bible message or encouraging song online that could be a blessing to them. Social distancing does not mean we cannot reach out to encourage. James told us that the test of pure religion was how we treat widows and orphans (James 1:27). It is time for some pure religion.
- Look for gospel opportunities. In troubled times people are searching for answers. Fearful and anxious souls are more open to prayer and the good news of Christ. Watch for divine appointments and be ready to point people to the only hope in this world and the world to come.
No one knows exactly what the next few weeks will hold, but we know that we are held in the hand of a loving God. All is well in heaven. He has everything under control.
One more thing…let’s all pray that this season of uncertainty would be the means of a spiritual awakening in our land. Pray over your city. Ask God to stir us from our lethargy and shake us out of our mediocrity. This trial could be the door through which we enter a revival in our generation. Lord, let it be! Amen.
An additional word – My friend Byron Foxx wrote these reflections this week and I thought they were helpful:
Many consider the panic over the coronavirus to be extreme. There are also legitimate questions concerning the motivation of the media and political leaders. Americans love our freedom, and in general, we resist any appearance of our rights being infringed, even in “the name of health.”
However, it is prudent to take precautions to maintain our health. This current strand of the coronavirus has a higher mortality rate than h1n1. Recovery of patients with the coronavirus is very good, but those who get the virus will need medical care, including a more than usual need for hospitalization. Therefore we want to work together as Americans to prevent a “run” on our medical facilities and hospitals. Let’s wash our hands, use common sense, and preserve our medical facilities for those in need.
Our biggest need in America and around the world is our need of God. The most dreadful issue is our sin. Whenever sin enters, it brings darkness, chaos, and destruction. The only remedy is Jesus!
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”