From the very start of this pandemic, I was encouraging friends across the country who were stuck at home to start a “Quarantine Ministry” using their gifts, talents, and passions. I’ve heard so many incredible stories of how the Lord has used them, despite being stuck at home, I thought I’d share a few stories. A Elementary School Teacher used her skills to help Moms at home come up with creative ways to help their kids learn. A friend who’s a very talented seamstress learned of a need for masks and has sewn over 200. But the miraculous part of this story is that the supplies she started out with have never run out! Another friend started a daily video online of encouraging Scriptures to comfort and inspire those she couldn’t be with physically. God uses us to console the downcast…and in return, we ourselves are refreshed, renewed, restored, and revitalized. (Proverbs 11:25)
Right now opinions are abounding from everyone. “Open up the country!”…”No, we should say at home yet.”…”Churches should be able to open up.”…”No, it’s too early to gather together in groups.” But what happens when you have all these contrasting opinions are silly arguments over semantics rather than what God’s Word actually says. In this Scripture, Paul is writing to the young Pastor Timothy, warning him to avoid quarrels of “words” that stem from either party’s inadequate training in and/or deficient knowledge of Biblical disciplines. So before we can express any kind of opinion, we must first know what God’s Word says about it…in order to handle correctly the word of truth. (II Timothy 2:15). But to know God’s Word, we must first get into God’s Word and allow it to enlighten us.
Being a Christian does not mean we are immune to difficulties, hardships, or afflictions…that’s because we live in a broken world. And Job realized this…that troubles would come into his life. But Job also saw that he could never take God’s blessings for granted. So today, let’s all take a moment to count our blessings both great and small. If all your family and friends are healthy and safe…thank Him. If you have enough food to eat, a roof over your head, and clothing to wear…thank Him. Jesus did not promise that our life here on earth would be void of suffering, quite the opposite. For He tells us in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” That’s because He’s the God of all comfort Who comforts us in the midst of all our troubles. (II Corinthians 1:4) So today let’s thank Him for the many blessings we’ve received.
In God, we have a good, good Father. A heavenly Father that wants only the very best for His children. So as Followers of Christ, we too should affirm the good in others. For if we have willingly and freely accepted the Lord’s invitation of salvation into our lives…we need to live out to the best of our ability His example. For there’s enough negativity already in the world today…but Believers can change that by simply seeing and affirming the good in others.
There are many benefits to doing what’s right in the sight of the Lord. That’s because God’s commands and promises within the Bible are for our good…both morally and practically. For if we heed them, we will be known for our integrity and good character…not otherwise. And when we follow closely after the Lord and not our fleshly desires…we find His favor. For Psalm 84:11 tells us, The Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” NIV So ponder this…it will only profit us to obey God.
This verse speaks specifically to those within the Church-body that preach and teach the Word of God. They are to be compensated for their work. But I would like to take this idea of consideration a step farther. When was the last time you thanked that friend who spoke encouragement, hope and prayed for you during a hard time in your life? Or when was the last time you called a long-time friend who had been instrumental in your walk with God and thanked them for faithfully speaking the truth? We could all benefit from reaching out to friends today and just thanking them for sharing the Good News.
Our battle isn’t against this carnal world, so our weapon of choice shouldn’t be of this world. No, for spiritual warfare we need a unique and powerful weapon…a weapon straight from the most powerful source – God. Jeremiah 23:29 states, “Is not My Word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?” God’s Word…His truth, is capable of destroying any stronghold that Satan has over a person’s life. So when you don’t know what to pray…pray God’s Word, the Scriptures, into the situation. By declaring His Word…all the power of heaven and earth is brought to bear by His authority.