Sunday, May 3, 2020

Be Strong and of 
Good Courage

Anita Clark – Pastor 
Carbondale, Kansas

Right now the world is going through a terrible time of a rampaging health crisis - the Corona virus.  The whole world is affected and many are infected.  It seems like a very strange thing to be happening, but I know that God has allowed it to work in all of us.  Either we trust in the Living God or do not.  It seems so strange to not be able to worship in our church buildings.  As I contemplate what has been happening, I am drawn to know that God is in control and performing His will in this earth.

Many strange things have been happening more often, it seems.  Recent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and the terrible fires in the Amazon and in Australia have all been signs of the times.  And now this!  It has been a surprise, as I for one have thought that the really bad judgments of God would not happen until the tribulation of seven years, which is coming very soon.  Sure I know that there have been disasters in the past, but it is amazing to see this come upon the whole world.  All we Christians need to be in prayer that many unbelieving people will come to accept Jesus Christ. Also pray for other believers as this is a trying time - being isolated as we are.

Matthew 24:7 Jesus speaks of the coming judgment upon the earth.  In this verse He mentions, “.. There shall be pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places.”  The word “pestilence” is used 47 times in the Old Testament.  God often judged the people of earth by sending it upon those who were disobedient.  Today as we are experiencing this plague, let us realize that God has allowed it to work in the people of the world to draw some to His love and salvation, and very likely He has allowed it to come to test us (the believers) also to see how much we really trust God.

Psalms 91:3-6, & 10-11 says, “Surely, He shall deliver thee from the snare (a spring net) of the fowler (which means a person who sets a net to catch birds), and from the noisome pestilence. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.  There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” Believe this and rest in the Lord and His watchful care over us.

We all go through times of discouragement and diversity.  Where does our help come from? The word of God tells us.  Joshua 1:5-9 - God speaking to Joshua after Moses died and Israel was facing the promised land and all the enemies there, (Vs.9) “Have not I commanded thee?  Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”  We can take these verses as encouragement to us right now in whatever circumstances we are going through. 

Apostle Paul tells us, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might” (Eph. 6:10).  Jesus said  in John 15:5, “..For without Me ye can do nothing.”  As we go through trials of life, we learn that our strength is not enough.  We try and we fail, but when we are dependent on the Lord’s strength, we can go on in courage and His power.

Paul heard the voice of Jesus say to Him, “My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”  The word “sufficient” means “enough,” though, God’s grace is never given in a small measured way that is barely enough, but rather it always meets the need completely. The word, “perfect’ speaks of “fulfilled, or made perfect.”  In our distress and weakness, He gives strength to climb any obstacle, to mount any wave, to walk on in victory. When he asks us to do something, He gives the ability to perform that duty.  In our weakness, we learn that we must go in His strength.  He gets all the glory for victory in our lives.

So, dear believers in Christ Jesus, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him and he will direct thy path.” Proverbs 3:5-6