“All these people were still living by faith when they died.” – Hebrews 11:13
In our current unprecedented crisis, are we still living by faith? Honestly, that question applies to each and every life crisis does it not? Oh yeah! Absolutely. Will this crisis turn us away from God or closer to God? Been there anyone? Struggled with that? Yep! And will we use crisis an opportunity to go and be Jesus now more than ever?
I was reading of the believers in Jesus from the Macedonian churches in 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 recently. In light of our current crisis, verse 2 jumped off the page, “In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” Reread that verse. Then I read of Job’s overwhelming crisis and his response in Job 6:10, “…I would still have this consolation – my joy in unrelenting pain-that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.” Wow! Talk about faith in the crisis. Do we have that same faith now? Oswald Chambers said, “Faith for my deliverance is not faith in God. Faith means, whether I am visibly delivered or not, I will stick to my belief that God is love. There are some things only learned in a fiery furnace.” Truth!
As I read of the Macedonian believers ‘still faithful to God’ response in their severe trial I noted a few applicable points. They exhibited faith, demonstrated joy, displayed hope, gave generously and lived love unquestioningly – even though they had every reason not to…they ‘still had faith’. Question: do we? Do we still have faith? Or have we already given up on God? Are we still demonstrating joy in this trial? That the joy of the LORD is our strength? Are we displaying hope in Jesus; foundationally, our life’s anchor in this storm? Are we giving generously? Helping? Encouraging? Supporting? Sharing? Because now more than ever is our opportunity to shine for Jesus! Are we living love? Living and fleshing out our love for God and people as we go and be Jesus to our world,
So how do we still remain faithful in this crisis? As I read recently, “As Christians, interestingly enough, we respond the same as we should when there isn’t a crisis. When others fear, we have faith. When others hoard, we share…” We go and be Jesus, now more than ever. We exhibit faith. Demonstrate joy. Display hope. Give generously. Live love just the early New Testament church did as told in Acts 2:41-47 & 4:32-35. What happened? People came to know Jesus daily. May the same occur today.
Miss you friends. Please stay safe and healthy. Let’s encourage, love, support and pray for one another, especially for all our first responders on the front lines of this as well as our leaders. Pray for healing, physically and spiritually. Let’s be Jesus. See you online this Sunday at 9:00 AM.
Doug Reed // Lead Pastor