Who knew when I wrote this post last summer that the Coronavirus would hit in 2020 and knock the world out of sync? How many of us are discovering the idols of our hearts during this time of social distancing and isolation? This pandemic is showing how much we are really not in control. For believers, the hope we have in God and His sovereignty is a sustaining source of strength. He is faithful, though often we don’t understand His purpose or what He is doing.
Life is hard right now. And there is the possibility that it might get even harder. Not being able to meet together for church with other believers has been difficult. I miss the fellowship and encouragement that comes from our time of worship together. I miss the ministries that I am part of: teaching my 1st-4th grade Sunday School kids, hanging out with the youth group, meeting for one-to-one Bible reading with one of the girls in my church, meeting for our ladies’ Bible study and prayer time. Not knowing when I might be able to be part of these things again adds to the difficulty.
When we moved a year ago from Michigan to PA, God taught us much about trusting Him even when things don’t make sense. Having to leave behind much-loved ministries was difficult, but it taught us that our lives belong to God and He determines what ministries we will be part of. Now having adjusted to PA and immersed ourselves in new ministries here, those ministries are now on hold. Once again it is a reminder that God determines the paths of our lives and what ministries He wants us to be part of. The important thing is that we are continuing to trust Him and obey Him even during the dark times. And when we fail (as so often we do), we look once again to Him for the grace and strength to make it through. Jesus already lived the perfect life that we cannot. We can rest in His righteousness, yet still pressing on to grow in our faith, asking God to strengthen our trust in Him.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:28-31
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:14-16
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. – Hebrews 13:15-16
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. – 1 Peter 5:8-11
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. – Hebrews 12:1-3
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. – Galatians 6:9-10
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. – 1 Corinthians 15:57-58