How To Stay Strong

8.14.20 Leave a comment

In a recent local newscast there was a montage of clips of brief interviews with “the people on the street” in downtown Pittsburgh and in the Strip District. There were about 10 or more folks who commented on how they were handling the current, ongoing issues with the pandemic. The title of this segment was “Covid Fatigue.” Every person they interviewed conceded that life was becoming increasingly difficult, that communications were often awkward and stifled, and that just the freedom to move about and do enjoyable things that make life more fulfilling and provide a sense of refreshment are increasingly absent. They were all really tired of it.

As we look at things today, not just here locally but around the nation, it’s clear that there’s no precise end in sight to this situation. However, there is a very clear pathway through discouragement, anxiety, frustration and fear for every person who has faith in Christ and is trusting God in the midst of what is happening.

One of the things that I have learned over these many years is that our enemy seeks to effectively distract us from the cornerstone revelation upon which we can build our attitude every day. That revelation is simply this: God is good! If we can be distracted from that truth then the circumstances around us seem to be able to pull us under the waves now and then and eventually we begin to gasp for the “fresh air of the Spirit,” which is essential to remain victorious.

Remembering that the Lord has seen all of this coming and He has prepared a way for us to get through it, makes a huge difference in our response to such difficulties.

Because God is good and because you also know that you have identity and purpose because of His presence in your life then you’ll be prepared to stand in all that the Lord is working out in you through these challenges and difficulties. This is in no way diminishing the fact that such things are real, it’s just choosing to place the sovereignty of God over the power of circumstance. Think about that statement because it’s true; nothing goes to waste for the child of God. The Apostle Paul said it this way: “All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

In the Old Testament, Joseph discovered this. As he was discovering his destiny, he saw that God’s plans and purposes had a momentum and power that outweighed the evil plans of his brothers. He summarized it in his final meeting with them when he said, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20)

The brothers had evil plans and they affected Joseph’s life profoundly, but in the end the superior reality was that their plans couldn’t cancel out God’s purposes for him. In fact, it was those evil intentions that became the very tools that God used to bring Joseph into his place of authority and the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise to him.

If you think carefully through this truth, it may apply to something unrelated to Covid such as your own physical circumstance or perhaps a relational strain that is wearing you down, but never doubt God’s goodness. We live in a world that is still influenced by the effects of sin and therefore we have things take place in our lives that don’t seem to make sense to us, and yet we can affirm with great confidence that God is in control and that His plans for us are good – and this very special word, that “no weapon formed against us will prosper!” (Isaiah 54:17)

These are truths that we must renew to our own heart each and every day. Fighting a battle like this in difficult times requires moments of daily strengthening and the occasional support of others who share our same posture of faith and confidence in the purposes and promises of God for our lives!

We will prevail over this test and trial, and many others in our lives, if we seek to do what King David of old did at one of the lowest moments of his life as revealed in depth in 1 Samuel 30:6; “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”

Blessings!

Pastor Jay

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