Things have escalated at such a rapid speed in the recent past that it’s hard to take it in. Each of us is in isolation in a country that has closed down all but essential services, causing problems, fear, anxiety and chaos to manypeople. However, for me a few days ago, a joyful light shone into the gloom in the form of my first great grandson. Nothing could stop him coming into the world. It was his time to be born.
Nothing can stop our amazing God from working out His purposes in His time and His way, despite what is happening around us.
Yesterday I was reminded of this quote by A.W.Tozer, ‘While it looks like things are out of control, behind the scenes there is a God who has not surrendered His control’. I was almost a lone walker inthe silent forest near my home. Suddenly I was aware of an incredible song echoing through the trees. It was the song of the birds! I was filled with joy and wonder as I joined the song in praise to our wonderful God, delighting in His presence as I walked. It was an assurance that we can never be isolated from our God, therefore, we have nothing to fear. Our circumstances may differ, some more difficult than others, but we all have the same Immanuel, ‘God with us’.
Our text for today is a reminder that, whatever happens, even if the earth is shaken, in these troubled days, God is with us. He is a safe shelter where we can hide and He is our source of strength in timesof weakness and uncertainty. Looking at our world, it seems that everything around us is being shaken. There is great anxiety about health and wealth. The things many of us have previously trusted in for our security are no longer there.
Maybe these earthly things have become idols which we need to let go of and turn to the only source of security and peace – Jesus, who is the Prince of Peace. Let us ask for an eternal perspective in recognition that we belong to a kingdom which cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28). Jesus is king of the unshakeable kingdom and we are rooted and grounded in Him, in the words of an old hymn, ‘Safe and secure from all alarms’ (from ‘Leaning on the Everlasting Arms’).
Fear is one of the most popular weapons that the devil uses against us. A common lie that he uses is that God is distant or even absent from us, especially when things are difficult. Nothing could be further from the truth. God promises repeatedly in His word that He is always with us, ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. So we may say with confidence, The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’ (Hebrews 13:5b-6). Yes, in our present circumstances God is with us, ‘Do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand’ (Isaiah 41:10).
So, let us think less about the coronavirus and think more about Jesus who said, ‘Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’. Our present crisis is something new. I wonder if it’s a time given to us who love Jesus to spread the good news of His unshakeable kingdom through the different media available to us to those far and wide who are losing hope.
Prayer: Father, it’s so good to know that You are in control of our troubled world and that I am secure in Your unshakeable kingdom. Thank You for the peace Jesus promised, which is independent of circumstances and passes all understanding. Today I receive that peace as a gift, knowing that whatever crosses my pathway You are with me. I give You thanks and praise. Amen.
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