Hope in God
We are living in momentous times. Who would have ever thought we would live to see such drastic changes in our lives? Uncertainty is the norm now - should we wear a mask or not? Do they really work? Will our kids be able to go back to school? If they do will they finish? Will we have college football this fall? (Put that on your prayer list). Will there be another shut down? When will we be able to get back to a regular schedule at church? What is God doing right now? He has all the power and authority to stop this virus today. So why hasn’t he? Not only is there uncertainty in our personal lives and schedules but there is unrest throughout the country. There are riots in major cities and constant unrest and arguing on “social” media. You can just feel the pressure and anxiety everywhere you go. It feels like we are being pulled apart at the seams. How are believers to respond? I want to give us 3 ways we ought to respond to the current situation we find ourselves in.
Confidence in God
We may not understand all that is going on but we can trust the Lord. The good news is, we don’t have to understand to have peace. In a world of uncertainty we need more than ever, to anchor our hope to the one who is eternal and unchanging. Our God is not passive or powerless, listen to David, “our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.” Psalm 115:3 and “the Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as King forever.” Psalm 29:10. Every difficulty you are facing right now is in the hand of God. Our lives aren’t at the mercy of random chaotic events. Romans 8:28 teaches us that God is working all things together for good for those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. That includes Covid-19, cancer, divorce, hurricanes, bankruptcy, death and every other evil you can imagine. Our confidence isn't that our plans will work out, our confidence is that all of God’s plans will work out. If you know God, you understand why that is such good news.
One of the most precious invitations extended to us in scripture is the invitation God gives to His children to bring all of their cares to Him. I know as an earthly father that I want to help my kids with their problems. I care about every fear and anxiety they have. I care more about their well being than they can imagine, and I think most parents feel that way. If we feel like that and we are basically evil, how much more does God love and care for us? Paul tells the church in Philippi “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” Philippians 4:6. We don’t have to just stand in front of our problems not knowing what to do. We can take the very thing that is causing us so much anxiety to the Lord and trust Him with it. Inevitably life brings us some massive issues, but we aren’t helpless or hopeless as we face them. Our Father in heaven loves and cares for us and wants to help us. Peter tells the church “casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 Child of God you can cast all your cares cares on to Jesus. He is strong enough to carry them all and wise enough to know what to do with them.
It’s easy when life is a mess to just get overwhelmed and check out mentally and emotionally. To just begin to go through the motions and not be genuinely engaged in anything. Someone has rightly said the average American lives a life of quiet despair. When we are tempted to think like this and live under our circumstances the children of God need to remember whose they are. Our Father is the Great I AM. The author and finisher of our faith. He is seated in the heavens and does all He pleases. He has chosen us to be His people in the midst of a broken world and we have no right to sit down and quit or live in a state of perpetual fear. We are the only people in the world right now that have a good cause to get out of bed in the morning, put our feet on the floor and live for the glory of God. Timothy was prone to being fearful and getting discouraged but listen to Paul’s words of encouragement.
“I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:3-7 ESV
Paul reminds him of the faith of his grandmother and mother. It’s easy to begin to feel alone when life is confusing and difficulties don’t go away. But think about the saints who walked this road before us. They each faced their own share of burdens and the Lord proved faithful in every trial. God was faithful to them and He will be faithful to you. Now is not the time to give up, Paul tells Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God”, in other words, continue with the ministry God has given you. People today need the message of the gospel more than ever.
Finally, God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control. Our uncertain times are held in the hand of the one who works all things according to the counsel of His will and because we are His children we can rest in his sovereign faithful care for us.
May God bless and keep you all,