Dear Church Family,
On behalf of your Team of Pastors, I want you to know that we love you, we miss you, and we are praying for you. You are continually on our hearts and minds, and we consider it a great joy to serve you during these times. The current situation we find ourselves in with COVID-19 has been filled with challenges and obstacles, but through it all God has shown himself to be faithful. Each day, we strive to trust God in the midst of uncertainty, and we pray that he will give us all an unshakeable faith that chooses to take hold of the promises of God and cling to them despite any uncertainties or anxieties.
Every so often, I pull the book Trusting God off my shelf. In the first chapter, the author asks the following:
“Can you trust God? The question itself has two possible meanings before we attempt to answer it. Can you trust God? In other words, is He dependable in times of adversity? But the second meaning is also critical: Can you trust God? Do you have such a relationship with God and such a confidence in Him that you believe He is with you in your adversity even though you do not see any evidence of His presence and His power?”
For many of us, the answer to the first question is much easier than the answer to the second question. Our immediate response is yes; we trust God in times of adversity. We believe he is dependable. We see his promises on the pages of Scripture and we believe them. We read the Old Testament, we see the promises he made, and we see them come true throughout the pages of Scripture. We see the fulfillment of prophecies in the person of Jesus. We believe God is dependable, and we believe he will do what he says he will do. We believe that he will never leave us or forsake us.
But that second question — that answer requires more from us than just a head knowledge of the promises and their fulfillment. It requires more than reading “God said this, and here is how it happened.” The answer to that second question takes an active response from us. It takes faith. Because of our relationships with people, we are accustomed to trusting persons in our everyday life. The more we get to know a person, and the more we see a pattern in their life that warrants or earns our trust, and the more readily we find ourselves depending on them or trusting them. We choose to trust that they will do what they promise, and we choose to rely on what they say.
Can you trust God? Do you have such a relationship with God and such a confidence in Him that you believe He is with you in your adversity even though you do not see any evidence of His presence and His power? To trust in God, we have to move beyond our mere feelings and emotions. Our emotions lie to us; they cannot be trusted. Our emotions will bind our hearts, and there will be days when we cannot trust God, because we do not feel like it. We must choose to trust God, daily – sometimes hour by hour, or minute by minute. This isn’t always easy; it isn’t like choosing which cookie I am going to eat. At times it is hard, almost impossible. But this trust is what God desires of us, to trust him in the face of whatever adversity we find ourselves in. That trust has to be based on our relationship with God and our confidence in Him.
Maybe you find yourself in a place where you identify with the words of the psalmist: Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God (Psalm 42:5). In response to how you are feeling, may your prayer be something like this:
God, today help me choose to trust you. Help me put my trust and my hope in Christ, and in Christ alone. Father, you know my heart; you know that my soul often feels downcast and that I am filled with anxiety. But even in the midst of the turmoil within me, I trust in you, you are my salvation, you are my God. Lord, I choose to focus on you and not on the turmoil within me. God I know that you can deliver me from this enemy, just as you delivered the Psalmist from his enemy. God, I know that you will not leave me, and you will not forsake me. And God, I trust that your Holy Spirit will empower me to trust you.
Church family, thank you for the ways you have reached out to us and loved on us during this time. On behalf of your Team of Pastors, we want you to know that we love you and we are thankful for each of you. Our hearts look forward to the time when we can meet together in person. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any special need during this time, your Team of Pastors and our “Care Team” are eager to serve you in any way we can.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. 2 Thess 3:16