Jesus stands at the entrance to your heart today. He has been patiently waiting…knocking softly but persistently every time panic has overwhelmed you this past few weeks. His voice is calm and reassuring on the other side of that door…like a light shining forth filled with truth, hope and love. But the decision must be yours and yours alone, for the door has only one latch and it’s on your side of the door. But if you do decide to open that door today, rest assured that all you’ll need to do is crack the door…for then, all of heaven will pull it open.
For many of us, we have been enduring the hardships of social distancing and mandatory self-isolation for several weeks now. We are struggling against loneliness, persevering against boredom, and attempting to quell the growing frustration inside. The verses today talk about discipline, suffering, and correction the Lord ordains for the moral and spiritual nurturing of His children, and that it is always designed for their good. So how then can we look at this unique time in our lives in a favorable light not a negative one? It can start by simply asking God, “What do You want to teach me during this time, and how can I most benefit from it?” The other thing to remember is – don’t despise the Lord’s discipline and don’t resent His correction, (Proverbs 3:11-12) and you will come out on the other side of this as a more positive, hopeful, and encouraged person.
In a matter of minutes Job lost everything…his livelihood, all his future income, and all ten of his children. And you may find yourself in the same place today as you survey your mounting losses. Although Job lost all his material and personal things, there was one thing he never lost, and that was his faith in God. For this verse tells of his acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, goodness, grace and mercy. And as James 1:17 also reminds us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above…” Job lost everything…but he never lost what really mattered…his faith.
We all have blind spots. Areas of our life we can’t see, or chose not to see. Sometimes it’s intentional, sometimes it’s due to ignorance that we can’t see what’s right in front of our faces. This Psalm of David is quite blunt…you can’t help but see the majesty of God around you. For everywhere you look is displayed His glorious work of creation. And creation doesn’t need words to proclaim God’s glory to the world…we need simply to gaze up into the starry sky, glance at the blooming flowers, and listen to the bird’s singing to understand.
We’re receiving guidance from many different entities right now…from the CDC, the Federal Government, and the State Government…not to mention all the local Health Departments. And all these parties involved are attempting to manage and direct us during this pandemic to the best of their ability. But as Believers, we need to also look to Godly guidance. God’s direction through His Word can not only guide us, but watch over us, and speak to us. (Proverbs 6:22) His Word leads and directs our course as we listen and obey…for it tell us in Isaiah 58:11, “The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden , like a spring whose waters never fail.”
Unfortunately, one of our least lovely traits have been highlighted by the Corona Virus…it’s called selfishness. We’ve seen it across the United States…people more concerned for their own welfare, with blatant disregard for others. (I still shake my head in amazement for the toilet paper hoarding.) But the Scripture above is very clear – we are to think of others. I Corinthians 10:24 goes on to say, “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” There is no place in a Believers life for selfishness and greed…”for love is not self-seeking.” (I Corinthians 13:5) And I know mandatory isolation doesn’t help becoming self-absorbed…but today, look beyond yourself. Focus your concern outward to others and show them the love that’s talked about in the 13th Chapter of I Corinthians.
Revelation 2:3 reminds us during this difficult and unprecedented time, “You have persevered and have endured hardships for My name, and have not grown weary.” But let’s just admit it, we are all becoming physically and mentally drained from the barrage of news about the corona virus. We are weary psychologically from sheltering in place…alone and isolated from family and friends. We are becoming exhausted and irritable from having everyone in the household cooped up together. Paul encouraged the people of Galatia when he wrote, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) This is not the time of discouragement for the Believer…for the world is desperately looking for hope…and you have that hope within you to give… it’s called the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!