This morning I spent some time reflecting on Romans 15:4. ”For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
In light of the global pandemic, I was asking the Lord, what our/my response should be? What attitude should I take and how might I serve those I love?
Through the Scriptures, the answer was made clear: “Persevere and Encourage” people. Jesus, David, Peter, John, Paul and others in the Scriptures had a non-anxious presence in adversity.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus said it this way, ”Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (John 14:27)
The people around you need your non-anxious presence. They need to see peace in your heart in the midst of this adversity. Ask the Father for wisdom in your words and actions that reflect perseverance and encouragement to those around you.
This morning I spent some time pondering some verses in Romans. I was struck by how much what we all long for is provided to us through Jesus. Jesus is the solution and often, walking with Him, takes us through some difficult times. But the end is secure in Him. What we long for is found in Jesus.
Take a moment to read this passage.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Rm. 5:1-5)
Here are a few questions for reflection:
What are your longings?
What does this passage bring to your mind?
What hope does this passage give you?
Take a moment to thank Him for all He has done and is doing for you.
I admit I am quite troubled by what is going on in the world. When I talked with Pierre recently, he referred to what is happening between the US and China as a crisis, which is adversely affecting the economy in his part of Africa. I did not know this, but it now troubles me for the people I know there.
Then there is what is happening with the Kurds in Syria, the internal issues in NW China with imprisoned minorities, the unrest in Hong Kong and the political issues within the US. All of these have an impact on my “peace” or really, lack of it.
The last few days I have spent some time reflecting on Jesus’ words:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Perhaps you are like me and need to back up and take some time to calm down, gain perspective from Jesus’ point of view and trust Him that, as the King of Kings, He really will come again to set things straight. In the meantime, His words bring comfort to me.
List some of the things causing you anxiety. Take moment to reflect on Jesus’ words.
The prophet Jeremiah had a hard life. Pressures, burdens and hardships were all his. Though no one I know is currently facing what Jeremiah did, most serious Christians I know are facing pressures, burdens and hardships. How can we cope?
Jeremiah says this, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.” (Jer. 15:16)
This verse implies seeking insights from the Scriptures and then reflecting on these Scriptural insights. This produces a peace and confidence even in the midst of our trials.
May you and I follow the model of Jeremiah and seek insights, wisdom and consultation from the Scriptures on a regular basis.