Today, many people focus on their fears instead of the rich promises of God. We fear financial ruin because of recession. We fear the loss of our jobs because of a declining economy and devaluation of U.S. currency. As I write this, the whole nation and world is fearful of the coronavirus and its global impact.
As he began the final piece one of the strings on his violin snapped. In his genius, Paganini was able to continue playing the piece on the remaining three strings. A moment later, a second string snapped. Still, Paganini continued playing the concerto on the remaining two strings. And then, a third string snapped, but still Paganini continued. He finished the piece, note for note, with one string on his violin.
For America and the world one day this will all be over. The early church was no stranger to plagues, epidemics, and mass hysteria. According to both Christian and non-Christian accounts, one of the main catalysts for the church’s explosive growth in its early years was how Christians navigated disease, suffering, and death.
In this fast-paced, high-tech world some people have forgotten that God is in the business of making miracles. Mankind has explored the depths of the universe and the bottom of the seas. We have modified DNA and created artificial parts for the human body. Through technology, we can supply an endless stream of information and artificial intelligence. We’ve become self-sufficient. But the reality is, we still can’t create miracles. We still get into situations where we’re just stuck.
Perhaps one of the toughest questions we Christians are asked is how a loving God can allow so much suffering. It’s just hard to reconcile without knowing Christ and trusting in His goodness. We try to explain our faith and use all sorts of analogies, but let’s face it; it can be a tough one to get around. But it’s an important question. Too often it’s the reason people decide there just is no God.
In this fast-paced, high-tech world some people have forgotten that God is in the business of making miracles. Mankind has explored the depths of the universe and the bottom of the seas. We have modified DNA and created artificial parts for the human body. Through technology, we can supply an endless stream of information and artificial intelligence.
This pandemic strikes fear and concern even in the hearts of mature believers. Let’s turn to God’s Word for comfort. The book of Lamentations was penned by Jeremiah (a.k.a. the weeping prophet). He wrote this book to teach people that to disobey God is to invite disaster. Jeremiah also shows us God suffers when we suffer.
Keeping focused can be a challenge. Whether it’s studying for an exam, taking mental notes during a key meeting, or following through on a plan of action, it’s easy to get distracted if we start looking around at other things.
Fear is something that can absolutely extinguish the joy in life. It can make the healthiest person sick to their stomach. It can paralyze your ability to think clearly. Those who regularly experience fear know too well its byproducts — discouragement and doubt.
Jacob carried two problems as he faced the desert: the father-in-law who was outraged about how and when Jacob departed, and the brother who was outraged about how he had stolen both his inheritance and blessing. As God would have it, both men confronted him in the middle of the desert!
In Matthew 14 we read about the disciples having a tough night while on a fishing expedition. The wind and waves had carried them many yards from shore and the chill of the early morning hours was setting in. The “fourth watch” was from 3:00-6:00 AM when exhaustion can hang heavy. Deprived of sleep, the imagination wanders and fear can heighten. The dampness clung to and bit at the weariness of these fishermen.
How often have you heard a football commentator or a coach talk about a player missing a catch or handoff because he took his eyes off the ball? A good receiver “looks the ball” into his hand—his gaze is so fixed on the spiraling leather that a defender hitting him seems like a distant possibility.
I can’t remember a time when so many friends were under such physical, mental, and/or spiritual attack. Maybe it’s a sign of my age. Maybe it’s the result of the chaos in the sin-filled world we live in. I don’t know. I do know that there are many people suffering and being challenged.