In times of adversity our faith becomes evident! Our character is revealed in times of adversity.
We are in the midst of what seems to be the worst thing ever. The global pandemic is making its way into every arena of life, and both the best and worst of humanity is being revealed. The endless news cycles spin a constantly expanding narrative that the world is about to end. I’ve had numerous calls with people asking me “Is all this leading to the second coming of Jesus?”
My answer will surprise you. I always say the same thing. “YES, everything, every day is leading to the second coming of Jesus!” I know this with certainty, we are one day closer to the end of this age than we were yesterday.
The singular message of scripture that I hope you will hold tight is found in Philippians chapter 4
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is [c]near.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all [d]comprehension,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
–Philippians 4: 4-7
It is imperative to know that nothing taking place today has caught God off guard. We have the absolute confidence that God is in control of all things.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.
“They are plans for good and not for disaster,
to give you a future and a hope.
– Jeremiah 29:11
And we know that [a]God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
— Romans 8:28
Overcoming Adversity has been a constant theme of History. Think about what we learn from the bible. Adversity began before the creation of the heavens and the earth with the fall of Satan in His rebellion against God, but God prevailed. The Garden of Eden was plagued by adversity when Adam and Eve chose to rebel against God and choose a lie over truth, but God prevailed. Cain killed Able. Think about the lives Job, Abraham, Noah, Joshua, Joseph, Moses, Samson, King Saul, David, Solomon, Jonah, and Daniel they all faced adversity, but God prevailed.
In the New Testament think about the adversities with John being beheaded, Peter panicking, all the disciples forsaking Jesus and fleeing. In all these names there is the same conclusion and that is that God prevailed.
Jesus faced many challenging times throughout his years on earth. He fed the multitudes, healed the sick, and hurting people. The lepers, the blind, and lame, the deaf. Each of these could have been a moment of chaos and defeat, but they were not. The greatest challenge he faced was his death on the cross, but even death could not hold him, for on the third day He arose from the grave and he lives today!
So, what must we do in the midst of the uncertainty and seeming disaster?
Live your faith daily. We are given new opportunities to share the love of God with the people of our circles of influence. This is not a time to panic, but as Paul taught us, it is a time to pray.
Be a calming and reasonable voice. As you are in a position of leadership please remember, none of us are experts in the Virus. Know what you know and know what you don’t know. Speak of the things you know.
Never be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” I can rarely answer the why questions, but I do know the Who! Jesus said, I will never you of forsake you.
Don’t forget the 3 G’s – grace, gratitude, and generosity. Look for people you can pour in to.
My admonition for today is simple. Don’t be afraid, don’t be ashamed, and Don’t be Angry. Stay grounded, remember, this too shall pass. Stay focused.