Another set-back, another unmet expectation, another COVID update. Will there be a shutdown? A slowdown? Disappointment seems to be the norm nowadays, and it appears that the proverbial “second boot” continues to drop over and over again this year. For many folks, it has become far too easy to be derailed by the ever–changing events of 2020 and are left feeling in limbo. “Where do I turn for relief, or rescue, for understanding and comfort?” “Stop the madness train, I wanna get off!”
When chaos knocks on the door of our lives, many take the turn to question God, wondering “where are you in all of this God? Why don’t you do something? If you’re so good, why don’t you stop all of this madness?” Let me assure you of a few things: 1) God is infinitely good. 2) He is infinitely caring and merciful, and 3) He has a plan! We may not see it completely yet, and we might not like the timing of the plan, but there is one, nonetheless. John 16:33 says this, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus is telling us that he fully understands that this world will continue to fall short of our expectations, that we will face obstacle after obstacle, that because of our sinfulness and the brokenness of this world, we will have trouble. BUT he doesn’t stop there. He doesn’t leave us in our uncertainty and misery, he gives us a glimpse of what is to come; “I have overcome the world.” What a glorious promise!
I don’t claim to know everything, and probably know a lot less than most, but I do know one thing for sure; God wins! I’ve read The Book. I know the ending. Satan will be and is defeated! Every momentary trouble that we are experiencing will be dwarfed in comparison with the wondrous glory that is to come! (Paraphrase of 2 Corinthians 4:17) Our eternal perspective is critical in maintaining sanity while navigating this minefield called life.
We can’t give up. We need to buckle down and stay focused. We must do whatever it takes to rise above the divisiveness and polarization, and the negativity and hopelessness. As followers of Jesus we possess the only remedy for the troubles we face, the very Spirit of God!
We can, and dare I say MUST, walk in peace and love, pointing the lost towards a loving and merciful savior that has already done everything necessary to spend eternity with Him, but also to thrive in a world that is rapidly decaying. Let’s decide now to do whatever it takes! Let’s let our decision pre-date our disturbances. Before the next “thing” comes our way, let’s choose to filter it through God’s presence first, knowing that he’s not only seen it coming, but has devised a great plan to see us through it.
But it all starts with the one we stare at in the mirror. And it ends with us too. We have to initiate it, and be willing to see it through, all the while resting in the promise that we aren’t going through it alone. Jesus is with us every step. Thank you, Lord!
~ Pastor Mitch