Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
If you are a follower of Jesus and regularly read your bible you are not only familiar with the above verse but have probably quoted it numerous times. What you may not fully know however is the context. Jeremiah is sitting in a cave looking over the rubble of a destroyed Jerusalem. A city he loved so much. Smoke, bodies and stench in the air and an atmosphere lending itself to utter hopelessness existed.
Yet in the middle of it all he is reminded of how big his God really is. He is keenly aware that perfect love is the only thing that can cast out fear and despair. He is also mindful that God’s compassion will never cease, He is there always and therefore can be counted upon no matter the circumstances. After pondering all of that these precious words of comfort are the result.
What a powerful illustration for us to ponder today as we are in the midst of one of the most serious global crises we have seen in a long time. The unprecedented response, while necessary, is causing intense fear and insecurity. In this country, not since 911 have we seen such anxiety and confusion. The obvious question that comes up at times like this is, what is God doing?
I remember after 911 that masses of people flocked to local churches and places of worship looking for answers. I also remember reading that 6 months later church attendance reverted back to normal, and in some cases, below normal numbers. Why? What happened? And what can we do in our churches today to prevent this from happening again?
If you consider yourself a follower of Christ I want to offer you the following to pray about and consider. I believe that if our approach to people individually and corporately embody these ideas many will be comforted and multitudes could come to a saving knowledge of our Lord:
- Pray and ask God to show you your unique role in bringing His love and peace into this situation
- Go out of your way to physically assist people who may be older and high risk with basic needs
- Become a Jeremiah man/women and consider how your communication can bring about, peace, hope and spiritual focus to others
- Remind those in your family, church, business that our God is faithful
- Create a Godly example by not whining or complaining
- Encourage people to be quiet and focus on going deeper in their relationship with Him
- Be prepared to help non-believers with their questions—you will have opportunities—always employ a gentle and peace-filled approach in your communication
- Focus on our real enemy and gird yourself (meditate on the underlined phrases in these verses)
Eph. 6:12-17 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
- Ask Jesus to help you see this tragedy through His eyes. We intuitively know that His ways and thoughts are not ours.
- If you are struggling with fear sign up for my free 30-day devotional dealing with Gaining Freedom From Fear.You will find it here: https://otm.co/resources/targetpoint-devotionals/
This is an important time for the church of Jesus Christ to step up and demonstrate His incredible love to those who will be searching. Dear friend it is at times like this that our real inner character is exposed—what will people see in you and me? Keep in mind that you cannot give to others what you do not personally possess.