“We live in uncertain times.”
No doubt you’ve heard that said more than once in recent weeks. But are times ever certain? Are there times that we know exactly what tomorrow will bring – with absolute certainty? James 4:14 plainly tells us, “You do not know what tomorrow will bring.” We may have our doubts; we may have confidence in what tomorrow will bring. But, in the final analysis, James is spot on.
What have we observed? What lessons have been driven home as we experience this phenomenal pandemic? It is common for we Americans to look to the government to find the solution to the problem. But we are hearing more and more criticisms of how the government is handling the crisis. The government is not God. We look to science to come up with the medical weapons to end the threat. Science is not God. The god of sports has taken quite a blow on all levels; we can’t even turn to it for diversion or even for the health benefits it might offer. The god of money and financial security isn’t batting 1000 either. We live in uncertain times.
We live in very certain times. Though all the afore-mentioned “gods” have proven unreliable, there is a God – our God – who does not change. Again, we can turn to James (1:17): “Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the lights, who does not change or shift like a shadow.” He is the One who identified himself to Moses as “I AM” – the God that does not change, who lives in the eternal present, who is steadfast in love, who says, “I the LORD do not change.” [Malachi 3:6]
Our God is like a loving parent who consistently disciplines his children in wisdom and love. And that is what he has been doing to with us right up to the present. Is he getting our attention better than he has in the past? Is he saying to us as he said through Malachi, “Return to me and I will return to you”? [Malachi 3:7]
There are many distractions in life. The distractions that take us away from time with God in prayer, in the Scriptures, in worship. This is true of everyone of us without exception.
God in his inscrutable wisdom has deprived us of the privilege of gathering as a congregation. How will we respond? Will the response be, “Hey this easy-chair church isn’t half bad; I can worship in my jammies with a cup of coffee and at a time suitable to me.” Or are we growing to miss corporate worship and in greater appreciation of the privilege it is and the benefit it brings to join together as God enjoins us in Hebrews 10:25: “Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have the habit of doing. Rather, let us encourage each other, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Our good and gracious Lord Jesus intends this experience to be a blessing for us. It will be a blessing if we view each day in the light of his Word, and in patient endurance focus our eyes on Him.
May the God of all peace keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Thomas Koepsell - elder