A short message of encouragement reflecting on 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 from our pastor following Boris Johnson’s announcement last night.
Last night, the Prime Minister made a momentous speech asking that for the next three weeks all but essential workers stay at home and only leave for exercise or essential trips. This is a gift to some and a trial to others. Either way, it will be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture by allowing the newsfeed of the day to shape our thoughts and mood.
On Sunday, I spoke about reframing our situation in light of who God is. Paul also speaks about this in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18:
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Paul does not deny the troubles his hearers are facing or how long they may last but in spite of this, Paul still encourages them to ‘lift their eyes to the mountains’ (Ps 121:1) remembering the eternal picture of who’s they are, who is ultimately sovereign, and consequently, in whom they can find ‘refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble’ (Ps 46:1).
In this time of ‘lockdown’, we must choose to make time to keep connected with one another and with God so that we are not isolated spiritually or personally. We must choose to spend time with Jesus—walking (metaphorically) and talking with him about all that is going on, growing in the ‘unseen’—our relationship and trust of Father God (however we view this situation). And we must choose to invite the Spirit to grow his fruit within us, as, in these ‘momentary troubles’, we learn to live in close confinement with, or isolation from, one another.
Yet, in today’s age of technology (for which we give thanks) we have many ways to remain connected—through phone calls, online messages (of many kinds), letters, shouting over the fence (!), our developing online church and prayer meetings…but we have to choose to engage and do this regularly to bless one another.
And we can remain connected with God in so many ways—through meditation on a verse, praying alone or with someone else, deep Bible study, listening to sermons, doing ‘coffee, Word and prayer’ over the phone, talking with God whilst doing jobs around the house or whilst being still for a moment in the open air.
Friends, I continue to pray for you all and am available on the phone. If you’re struggling, lonely or just need to talk, please call…don’t wait…and don’t feel you’re being a burden either. Connect with me, someone in your house group or connect group, your friends or family…we want to support one another however we can at this time but need you to reach out too as we don’t get those Sunday morning visual cues.
And so I pray, that in these extraordinary times, we will regularly invite Jesus to help us reframe our perspective as we seek to fix our eyes on what is unseen and eternal, so when this is all over, and it will come to an end, we will be able to testify to how we have all grown as followers of Jesus, and what God has been doing in our live throughout these extraordinary days.
I wonder what one thing you might change to make space for Christ to work in you at this time?
Keep praying. Keep in touch. Keep safe.