“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”” John 13:35 ESV
As I read this scripture this morning God brought me to a new place. I love how personal He is. God has called us to a place of love and unity. That unity, or lack thereof, has a major influence on how unbelievers see Christians. There are many evils that seek to separate us and drive us apart because the enemy knows a divided house cannot stand.
Crisis tends to bring people together. 9/11 was a perfect example. With COVID-19 however, we are being told to physically isolate ourselves, at a time when being with our tribe is even more comforting.
My challenge to you today is this: How can God use you during this time of isolation? I’ve seen some very creative ways people are reaching out to others without putting themselves or others in danger. Driveby birthday parties, singing outside nursing home windows and apartment balconies are just a few examples. One of our small groups from church wrote thank you cards to doctors and had one of the doctors who attends our church deliver them to his co-workers.
There are endless opportunities for us to SHINE right now. Will you take advantage of this time? Call or text someone each day, to encourage them and let them know they are in your thoughts and prayers. Start a Facebook group among friends to gather socially online. Connect with family over Zoom. Send cards, write letters. Drop off a meal to a senior or single, etc.
I’d love to hear your ideas of ways we can SHINE during this time. Please share in the comments so your ideas can spur and inspire others.
~ Deb ~
I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13 NKJV)
I take comfort in knowing I can do anything the Lord empowers me to do. I believe in miracles. I believe in the power of prayer and of faith.
Philippians 4:13 popped up as the ‘Verse of the Day’ recently on YouVersion. Because I am an advocate on reading scripture in context I have started reading the chapters as well as the verses. As I read Philippians 4 it occured to me, Paul wrote this verse in the context of contentment. He wasn’t quoting a formula for victory, he was declaring that he was able to endure both hardship and victory because he knew the secret to contentment was knowing God would sustain him in every circumstance.
I must admit, there are times I question God when I see things that don’t make sense. Certain things rob my contentment, if I allow them to. When I see children suffer or people die prematurely; when prayers don’t get answered the way I would like, it’s hard to be content.
And yet, I know that God is good! I may not understand the why, but I believe God’s promise that, “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NKJV) Ultimately it comes down to this, do I trust Him?
The secret to contentment is knowing that God will sustain you through the trials and the triumphs of life. It is knowing he will give you the strength you need, when you need it. He will not leave us to face our battles alone. He is always with us. Contentment is birthed in trust. It is resting in the knowledge that God is for you, not against you.
PRAY: Lord, help me to follow Paul’s example in learning to be content in spite of my circumstances. Forgive me for the times I have complained and allowed circumstances to rob my faith allowing doubts of Your goodness to prevail. Help me Lord to be content in all things, knowing you will sustain me and give me strength.
“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.” Psalms 145:18-19 NKJV
When I read the book of Job I am always encouraged by Job’s faithfulness at a time when his own wife advised him to give up, curse God and die. Personally, I know I have a long way to go before reaching that level of faith.
When faced with adversity people often ask, “Why did God allow this to happen?” I cannot answer that question, but I know He is STILL a good God.
Hold tight, help is on the way! Cry out to God. It’s okay to be honest with Him about your fear and doubt. He WILL rescue you. It may not look like you expect or be in your timing, but He will not fail you.