Good morning my special family in Christ
How can we keep the faith in a time of crisis? Sometimes the storm takes us completely by surprise: the bad report, the betrayal of a friend, the crisis at work, being retrenched, the suffering of a loved one, coronavirus and really not knowing what the future holds. From one second to another we are transferred to another reality sweeping through our souls and bodies with waves of fear and anxiety. Our boats are rocking on a raging sea. We might find it difficult to concentrate, to pray, to think clearly and to stay firm in faith in the time of crisis.
It’s such a crazy, uncertain time right now, isn’t it? But I tell you one thing all this upheaval and turmoil has done: it’s made me long for, work for; it’s made me want to invest more than ever in the kingdom of Christ as it should be on earth. All these difficulties have placed a sense of urgency in looking to God for guidance. Not being concerned about what will this uncertain future look like or what are we heading into?
When you were a child, did you like to sleep with a light on? Somehow a dark bedroom doesn’t seem quite so scary with a nightlight glowing softly in the corner or a door opened just a crack to let the light in the hall shine through. Light chases away fears and gives comfort.
King David in Psalm 27:1 reminds us, “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”
What a personal statement this is! The Lord is my light and my salvation. It’s not that He gives light; He is light. He doesn’t give salvation; He is salvation. Jesus is light within, light around, light reflected from you, and light to be revealed to you. Don’t be afraid of what’s out there in the dark. The powers of darkness have been utterly broken, and the grip of hell shattered beyond recovery. If Light itself is for you, whom or what in the world could you possibly fear?
Listen to the beautiful and encouraging words of this poem I found:
Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heavenly home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
I sing because I’m happy, and I sing because I’m free,
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches, He watches me.
As believers we can draw comfort from Psalm 32:8 where God says to you and me during these difficult times; listen, He says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.”
Oh, friend, just as His eye is on the sparrow, Psalm 32 assures us that His eye is on you and me who are His children.
And Matthew 6:26 backs it up, it adds to that. For the Lord Jesus gives us these words of comfort as He says, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
And just as a sparrow will not fall to the ground apart from God’s control, we have no need to fear. Jesus says again in Matthew 10:31, “You are of more value than many sparrows.”
Of all the bird species in the world – the many thousands and thousands of different birds – of all the grandest species that could easily capture His attention, His affection, such as eagles that soar and hawks that command the skies. God, in His wisdom chose a scruffy little sparrow to make a point about His loving care over us. So as we head into an uncertain future each day, as we pray for God’s kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven, let these words today be a comfort and an encouragement to each of us.
The most important but difficult thing to do in times of crisis is to lift our gaze from the fear and to focus our attention on the Lord. The more we focus on the Lord, on His character and His promises, the more we can receive His peace and guidance. The Bible calls this having a steadfast mind, trusting in God (Isaiah 26:3). We can do this by wrapping our minds around a verse or a phrase anchoring us to a higher reality. Psalm 27 is full of such peace and hope-giving words. David speaks to his fears and anxiety proclaiming that God is his light, salvation, and stronghold. Is this not everything we need in a time of difficulty or crisis?
Remember that God invites us to search and find our joy, shelter, and peace in Him during the storm.
O Lord my God, You have rescued me—not only from the growing darkness in this world, but also from the darkness in my own heart and mind. Thank You that we can look back to see how You have carried us during difficult times and that we can trust You in the future as well. Help us not to forget who You are and what You have done and what You have promised to do. You have lifted me into a light that never fades. Shine in me and through me today, Bright Morning Star! Amen
Much love and blessings to you from Maurice and Margaret