For the past few months, the nation, your nation, your world, have been gripped with fear. Is the world ending? Is half the population going to be wiped out? Is World War III inevitable? Is there be enough toilet paper? Yes, our fears varied far and wide; even into the ridiculous!
Entire nations are shutting down. Schools, sporting events, and social gatherings are being cancelled. The Summer Olympics are postpone! Even churches are temporarily closing their doors. Never have we been more grateful for the wonderful technology that we have at our fingertips to allow us to stay connected. In many areas there are great discussions; is it really necessary for churches to shut their doors? Many concerns that churches are giving into panic, giving in to the world, letting their eyes, their vision stray from the Lord, especially as we approached the significant Christian holidays, Easter.
At The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries, 2020 is the year of focusing our vision on the Lord – 20/20 Vision for Christ! Instead of our usual parable lesson, our first article for this month, April, will be focused on another of Jesus’ teachings: “do not be afraid.”
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:31-34)
25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? (Luke 12:25-26, NIV)
There is much worry in the world today, with many Christians questioning how we should respond to all that is happening. We are to respond with faith. We have faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We have faith in His plan for the world. We have faith that the Lord cares for us – that is not to say, however, that nothing bad will happen to us. We have faith that the Lord will direct our actions in the manner that best suit His plan; His plan, not ours. We have faith that the Lord will grant us the spiritual energy and strength to withstand whatever may come our way. We respond by keeping our vision, our focus, our eyes, fixed upon the Lord.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27, NIV)
Here, Jesus is talking to His disciples about what will happen after His death, resurrection, and return to Heaven. As we approach our celebration of Easter, perhaps an isolated celebration of Easter, we remember and celebrate our salvation that was achieved through Christ’s defeat of death and Satan. And although He left this earth and returned to Heaven to prepare for my arrival, for your arrival, for our arrival, He did not leave us alone.
He left us with the Holy Spirit. Above all, He left us with Peace! His peace! Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. His peace comes through our faith in Him. Much like the gift of salvation, the gift of peace must be accepted and embraced. When Peter faced the distractions of the world – the wind, the rain, the waves, the realization that he was doing the impossible of walking on water – he lost his peace. Peter lost his focus on Christ and began to sink.
We are facing many similar distractions from the unbelieving world. As you prepare to celebrate this Easter Sunday, take some quiet time. Stop. Make a list of your worries, of the world’s distractions. What is your wind? What is your waves? Turn your worries, your distractions over to the Lord. Return your focus to the Lord. Embrace the peace!
For more information regarding how your financial support can help, please click here.