During this Coronavirus pandemic, it has been very difficult to discern truth from error. Depending on the expert, the network, the science, and the day, the news is constantly changing and often contradictory. It gets confusing; should we …
- Stay inside or go outside?
- Wear masks or forgo such?
- Quarantine all possible carriers or isolate those most at risk?
- Open businesses or keep things shut down?
- Rejoice because the curve is flattened or hold our joy due to the possible rebound?
- Believe or disbelieve the lates test results, statistics, and projections?
- Appreciate or distrust our governmental officials and their actions?
Consequently, because of the confusion, many of us are living in an anxious “limbo state.” We don’t know how to best make the most of today, and we have no clue how to plan for tomorrow. We are frustrated and stymied over questions like:
- What should we do regarding our graduation ceremonies?
- What sort of wedding plans should we be making for our sons and daughters?
- Will school start in the fall?
- How long can we keep our elderly relatives isolated?
- Should we make summer plans or is this is a fool’s errand?
- Will I ever get to travel abroad?
- What will happen to our economy, and how will this affect our businesses?
- Is my furlough short-term or should I find a new job now?
- Should we invest our money in the market or hold on to cash?
- What is the future of athletics, concerts, parades, and festivals?
- How is the church going to morph in its ministry?
- Should we pursue our elective surgeries or keep our distance from the hospital?
- Will we soon get back to normal, or is this the new normal?
Oh, how we wish we had good information about the future. How fantastic it would be to have a magic eight ball, a genie in the bottle, golden plates, a time machine, or written messages in the clouds. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God would just send us an inspired prophet to give us heavenly insight? Then we would know how to posture ourselves; we would know how we ought to live today and tomorrow.
But wait … God has done so. Consider the admonition of Jesus in Matthew 6:19-34:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also … No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on … And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? … O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Because we are Christ’s friends, we don’t have to be fretful like “the Gentiles.” We don’t have to worry as those who are at enmity with God. We don’t have to be anxious like everyone else.
So Christian friends, what do we really believe about God’s presence? We should believe his Spirit is everywhere present. Wherever we are reading this blog, God is right beside us. He can’t get any nearer than he is.
What do we really believe about God’s knowledge? We should remember he never learns and is never surprised. He knows everything about everybody. Nothing escapes his attention.
What do we really believe about God’s planning? We should believe he has a will. He sees the end from the beginning, because he has planned the end from the beginning.
What do we really believe about God’s power? We should believe he is sovereign over every atom, virus, animal, human, city, state, nation, and planet. He is never frustrated or stymied. Everything is being worked out in accordance with his perfect will.
What do we really believe about God’s affection? We should believe he has general compassion for all men and women, but that he has radical affection for former enemies who now make up his redeemed family. The Heavenly Father sent his Son to die for us. The Heavenly Son came down to earth and willingly paid the price for us. The Heavenly Spirit came down and moved in; intimately he works and fruits us from within. The Three of them together – have written us upon their mind and heart. The Love of God is undeserved, eternal, non-fluctuating, and greater than we can ever imagine.
What do we really believe about our purpose? As we enjoy the affection of God, and as we grow in our affection for God, we should more and more desire the the fulfillment of his plan. His glory should consume our affections and thoughts, and not our own. We should be most passionate about his kingdom and his righteousness. Yes, because we are growing in our affection for him, we should joyfully serve, suffer, and sacrifice; we should joyfully get quarantined, get furloughed, and get sick. If it’s all part of his perfect plan, we should follow Jesus with boldness while carrying our cross.
What do we really believe about our wealth? We should remember it’s all undeserved, gifted, temporal, and temporary. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Whether we are rich or poor, it’s all the Lord’s doing. All our worldly toys are taken from us occasionally, differently, and ultimately. Our hearts are not to be titillated by temporal things; our hearts were made to find satisfaction in God.
What do we really believe about God’s paradise? We should rejoice in the blessings of this life, but we should remember this world is nothing in comparison to the next. It is good for us to live life on earth, for it allows us opportunities to serve Jesus Christ and our neighbors. But let’s keep our eye on the prize. Let’s remember that one day, maybe sooner than we think, we will be ushered into our perfect garden paradise with perfect bodies, perfect souls, perfect neighbors — and that will be far better.
Therefore, as we wrestle with the real troubles of today, why are we anxious about tomorrow? Why would be continue on in our Gentile-like loving, seeking, worrying, and fretting? It doesn’t do any good. It doesn’t change a thing. It is not good worship. It proves we have “belief issues.”
So, let’s think differently. Let’s seek differently. Let’s worship differently. Let’s suffer like those learning to adore and honor the God who eternally loves and blesses us beyond our understanding.