Dear brothers and Sisters,
Greeting in the Holy Name of Christ Jesus our Lord!
As we are forced to change our schedules and forced to change the way we interact with the world around us, I have been reminded several times this past week to count my blessings. Counting our blessings is an opportunity to glorify God in the mist of conflict. I hear on the radio, quite often, this statement, and it seems worth repeating today: “Worry worships our troubles; while prayer worships the God who can change them.”
When we take time to count our blessings, something happens to us spiritually that is hard to explain. It seems like all the troubles are easier to deal with, they don’t go away, they just become easier to walk through. The troubles become smaller and God becomes bigger, not that He was ever small, it is just that He seems to be bigger, more present, more available, more everything!
Hebrews 12:28-29 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.
We find God to be the unshakable One, in our times of trouble when we are counting our blessings and being thankful for all He has given us. Counting our blessing is a form of worshiping God, who alone deserve all our worship. Counting our blessings brings into perspective God’s power and might in spite of our troubles. King Jehoshaphat as he considered the plight of God’s people declared this:
2 Chronicles 20:9 They said, 'Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.'
We do not know how to over come the trials and troubles of our day, we do not know what is the outcome of Covid-19, or any other pandemic that comes our way. We do know the one who hears us and rescues us! We declare with the king, “We can come to stand in your presence…where your name is honored.” That last part of the prayer Jehoshaphat offered before God was this:
2 Chronicles 20:12 O our God, won't you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help."
We are powerless against this pandemic and we don’t know what to do nor do we know the outcome, but we are looking to God for our help! We lean more into God, as we count, with all joy, the great and mighty provisions of our God! We remember the words of Jesus as He consoled His disciples just before the cross
John 14:27 "I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So, don't be troubled or afraid.
We can declare God’s goodness in time of war, pandemics, famine, or any other time because we know Him who is our peace. Let’s take time this week to count our blessings. One great blessing I was reminded of is you, my brother and sister. I thank God for you and count it all joy to know we are in this together.
We may not be able to gather in one spot, but we are able to gather in Spirit and in Truth. Because of what Jesus has given us, each other, we can endure all the troubles and trials of this life. Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, has brought into existence a new society. One that is radically different than the world can understand. Here is a small description of this new society.
Colossians 3:12-17 12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Dear brother and sister, I encourage you to take a moment and reach out to family, if only by phone, and share God’s goodness with them. Take time to pray together and be thankful in this time of uncertainty. Not thankful for the trial, but thankful in all circumstances!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Reach out to neighbors and share God’s goodness with them. Everyone could use a word of hope, and there is no greater hope than knowing Jesus as King and Lord. Take this time to count your blessings and worship God, who can change them.
Have a Holy Spirit filled day, love you all and looking forward to hearing how God has been glorified through all of this