Message from Pastor

                                            HELP! I’M AFRAID OF COVID-19 and DYING

                                                  What should I do? Luke 12:25-26, 32

   Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?... "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

     There’s a lot of fear in our world these days, almost all of it due to a little ‘bug’. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of them or want to help someone who has been bitten by the ‘bug’.

     How do we deal with these fears? How can we be confident in these times of ‘uncharted territory’? The basic answer is this: Trust the Lord. I know that sounds simplistic and even, not helpful. But it is. Let me give you an example.

     What requires greater faith: walking on a tightrope extended one foot above your backyard or on one suspended over the Grand Canyon’s widest and deepest chasm?

     The answer is obvious. There’s not much risk involved if the worst that can happen is some grass stains on your white socks. But a head-first tumble into the rocky bottom of our GC would ensure your speedy death.

     It’s safe to say that we all want life to be easy and risk-free, like that backyard scamper across a low-hanging tightrope. But often we feel suspended high above the Grand Canyon without a net, wondering whether our next step will be our last. At those times it’s natural to ask, “Where is God? Why is he allowing me to face these challenges and feel these anxieties?”

     The irony is that those challenges are no accident; they’re divinely purposeful. When Jesus’ disciples once feared for their lives on a boat in the midst of a ferocious storm, Jesus lay sleeping in the stern. They wondered aloud whether Jesus would do anything to help them, but when the Master finally woke up, he wondered aloud why they were so afraid. At the height of

their anxiety, Jesus showed his power by silencing the winds and waves, prompting them to ask, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Matthew 8:23-27).

     What we sometimes fail to appreciate is that Christian faith is not normally conceived and nurtured in life’s soft, green fields. Growth requires unforeseen visits to the rocky and treacherous desert, where we are compelled to recognize that there is no one to help—except Jesus, that is. Only then we see his power and love in a way that had previously been unrecognized, and Christian faith grows.

     Yes, Jesus allows—even sends—challenges into our lives, not because he loves us a little but because he loves us much. He knows best how Christian faith grows best. It grows through challenges.

     God points out how foolish and puny are our worrisome thoughts (and actions). Can we make one gray hair turn black or blond again? Can you add a single hour to your life by fretting? Can your stress help your blood pressure go down, or up? Can you see how foolish and unnecessary it is to worry. Just ask yourself one simple question: Is God in control, yes or no!

     Was God in control when he made our world? Was God in control when His chosen people went into exile? Was the Lord of the universe in control even when His only begotten Son was sacrificed for us on the cross? I don’t have to tell you the answer. Challenges are difficult and pose problems, but with God’s help, we can and must deal with them—without fear.

     For, with those challenges, God also sends his saving promise, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” We don’t earn His Kingdom. It is a gift to all believers. Do not be afraid, God speaks to each of us. So, we simply pray:

       Jesus, help me endure the challenges you send, as I cling forever to your saving promises.

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