Yesterday I had a lengthy conversation with Johnny and Koki who separately had widespread ministry throughout India in years past. I asked what was happening among believers in India as a result of Covid. Of course, India is extremely complex and it is near impossible to get a full picture.
From their networks and observations, they shared the following:
Hunger for the Word has greatly increased – people are gathering in small virtual Bible study groups to read and discuss the Scriptures
A Prayer Movement has developed – they are gathering in small prayer groups and are increasing in personal prayer
More people are coming to the Lord because they see they need God
The Church is outside church buildings
Overall there is a widespread awareness that the Second Coming of Jesus is near. As a result people are repenting and spending more time seeking the Lord in prayer and the Word
Sometimes it is wise to hear how other cultures are responding to global issues such as the pandemic.
Questions each of could ask are:
How am I responding to the pandemic?
Am I seeking the Lord in the Scriptures and prayer?
Am I involved in a small group to discuss the Scripture and prayer?
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.
Most of us see a rapid rise in opposition to the Way in our cultures. No surprise when we look at the words of Jesus and His apostles. For some of us, however, this is new in our cultures so there is need for a change of mindset.
Peter says this: “Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God”
(1 Peter 4:1-2).
In your culture, how would someone arm themselves to prepare for difficult times or intrusive people? Most of us know how to answer that quickly but it is also a new way of thinking.
For the dark days of suffering ahead, there is need for us to arm ourselves. I know of several ways to do this.
Asking the Spirit in prayer for wisdom, grace, patience the fruit of the Spirit to know how to walk and live and give a response honoring to Christ.
Spending time in the Scriptures, particularly the New Testament and asking the Spirit to bring to mind what is needed in the moment.
Spending time with fellow believers for strength, hope, courage and endurance.
Peter goes on to say, “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.
Brothers and sisters, let us pray for one another and for the soon return of Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In the meantime, let us arm ourselves for suffering.