Thought for the Week - 24th May 2020

In mid-April when the Government extended the lockdown by a further 3 weeks, they reinforced the message to ‘Stay at home to save as many lives as possible.’ Prime Minister, Boris Johnson added “It’s important for me to level with you – we know things will get worse before they get better. But we are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal.’

 

The words ‘things will get worse before they get better’ stayed in my mind. When , strife and fears arise we all long for that ‘better time and outcome.’ 

We would all prefer instant solutions, less time of struggling and more stability than the unknown.

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At present, life doesn’t just have jagged edges, but in some aspects, has no edges to it at all. However, our faith in God enables us to trust Him in the dark and unknown. As RT Kendall writes in his book More of God, “God wants us to serve Him without getting all our questions answered.”

In addition to daily physical exercise which we are all encouraged to take, as disciples of Jesus, this is a season to ensure we keep spiritually healthy and ‘keep exercising our faith.’ In the things we don’t understand and when we cannot see the way forward, we start to experience what Paul the apostle meant when he said “We live by faith, not by sight.”(2 Cor 5:7)

 

Many years ago (as I waited for the Dartmouth ferry) I watched a man cross the river on his sail-board. He may have been saving on ferry fares – but as he landed safely on the other side, it made me think of faith, because he was wearing his everyday clothes. He was confident in himself that he would cross the water without falling off his board, and get to his destination – dry! And he did!

 

The bible defines faith as: “... being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) 

 

The object of biblical faith is a complete trust in God and His Son Jesus Christ and an unwavering confidence in His Word. 

 

Billy Graham said, “Faith isn’t pretending our problems don’t exist, nor is it simply blind optimism. Faith points us beyond our problems to the hope we have in Christ.” Walking by faith means we will not get discouraged when we face disruption, distress or disappointment – because our trust is in God for strength and the solution - and not in ourselves. 

 

Faith is also a key to pleasing God as we trust in His love, salvation, forgiveness, provision and goodness. The writer to Hebrews said, “... without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him ... “(Hebrews 11:6) 

 

The Bible is packed with promises from God – which He is watching over to perform in the lives of those who will take Him at His word and act on what He says. In God’s greater plan and purpose for our lives – the best is always yet to come, but we must always remember that ‘any waiting time’ is never wasted. These are the times when we grow in faith, endurance, perseverance and godliness.

 

Jim Collins

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