Stay the Course

I’m hearing about a lot of people who are getting anxious these days. Not about COVID-19, but about getting back to a life that they miss. A life that they want and feel that they have been deprived of for several weeks now. Many have lost their trust in those making the decisions for us and feel that they have been deceived or lied to. 

So how do we respond to all of this? What actions are we taking to satisfy our needs, desires, and “rights”? Whatever we do, we need to always ensure that we are not violating the most important standards. The standards that’s outlined in the Bible for us. While it doesn’t speak directly to the pandemic that we are experiencing, it says a lot about our conduct as witnesses for Jesus Christ. We shouldn’t let our behavior get in the way of witnessing to those who are struggling without Christ. Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us, “Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.”  We should refrain from taking matters into our own hands and making decisions that contradict what authorities have directed. This requires patience and perseverance that can only come from keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.  This also includes refraining from making comments that show anger and disdain for leaders whom God has providentially put in office. Philippians 2:14-16 tells us to “do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world, by holding firm to the word of life.” I firmly believe that God is sovereign, in charge, and I can fully trust Him.

Instead of complaining, we ought to be praying for our leaders. We ought to be praying for ourselves and for one another. Choose to let the Holy Spirit direct our thoughts and actions. Present ourselves as a living sacrifice for God, displaying the fruit of the Holy Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, regardless of our circumstances. 

We also do better when we strive together! We can’t meet in person without social distancing but we have the technology that can bring us together. We should take advantage of this and not remain alone and isolated. This past Sunday, there were a few who video streamed with the Burns family in Japan to see how they were doing and to be an encouragement to them. This would also be a great time and opportunity to send a message of encouragement to the missionaries that you support! Many of them often find themselves alone and can feel discouraged. 

Some of you are still meeting online to do small group bible studies. That is great! I am also encouraged to hear about those of you who are making a difference in other peoples lives with phone calls, text messages, and even dropping off little surprises. The neighborhood outreach that we did last week went extremely well and many families were blessed. The response we had in bringing in items for these families was remarkable. 

Your faithfulness in giving has also been a blessing. Some have been asking how we are doing financially. While giving has been down a little, as you could expect with the stay at home order and some not working, we have not had to touch our emergency fund. We are not spending as much now but we have been able to pay our salaries, our bills, and we believe that God will continue to provide for us as we pursue Him.

In His Service,

Pastor Bryan