My friends, first, I want to thank you for the prayers and messages of concern many have shared for our family and our ministry in the midst of this Covid-19 pandemic.
I want to encourage you to remember that in dark days and even darker nights, for stretches of hardship that seem never to end, for the everyday problems of real life we need to cling to this truth: God is always with us!
Every January, I take a break from my busy schedule to go to North Carolina to stay at a long-time friend’s home. It is a time of restoration and faith building as we meet with others to pray and encourage one another. A pastor friend asked that I share in one of their meetings since I was in the area, so I began by sharing one of my father’s favorite scriptures, and one that encourages me greatly, Psalm 46:10:
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
A couple approached me after the service and introduced themselves. They explained that Psalm 46:10 is one of their favorites as well, and asked if I would follow them to their car because they had a surprise for me. They opened the trunk of their car and presented me with a beautiful painting of Psalm 46:10. My heart was so blessed and it was truly a surprise. I asked the pastor later if he knew the couple. He had never seen them before that day.
That is one of the ways God has blessed us and prepared us for the events of this year. The painting is in my living room and has become a constant reminder to me and my wife that no matter what happens, we must stop and put our trust in Him. It tells me snap out of it…wake up…don’t run around in fear and panic…know Him…get close…put your ear where you can hear His heart.
Do not live by sight but by faith. If you live by sight, you will live by fear. But you will be surprised at what God will do when you lay aside fear, stop trusting in what you see and walk by faith. Trust Him because He is God. He is our refuge. He is a strong tower and a great help to us who are weak. We can’t rely on ‘chariots or horses,’ nor on our own strength or statistics. Fully rely on God (FROG). God will be glorified as we submit joyfully to Him in our troubles. The chief end of man is not to live a happy, carefree life, but rather, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
In order to find security in God, we have to stop finding security in everything else. Jesus assures us, “LO, I am with you always even to the end of the age” (Matt 28:20). Nothing in this world will offer you or me the security we have in God. Be still. Know that He is with us till the end of the age.
This is a time to make sure we are right with God and to be busy helping others be right with God. This is a time to pray for ourselves, our families, our nations and all those worldwide whose lives are being devastated by this disease. During times like this, people are asking questions because they want to know who they can trust. Now is the time to share the love of Jesus.
We are praying that we will all emerge from this crisis with our families and faith intact and stronger than ever in God. My friend, God knows your heart. He knows your needs and your concerns, and has provided! We read many times in the Old Testament, “Be strong and courageous.” Deuteronomy 31:6 continues, “Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
No matter what is going on here on earth, be still, lift your eyes and keep your vision focused on Him.