Robin J Johnson
Those three words sum up what so many are feeling at this moment of time. There are different triggers for each of us, but the outcome is the same with the accompanying mental and emotional stress, which we all experience at some level.
For me not being able to travel and be with our network partners in the flesh is a source of frustration (not forgetting family of course). Though Zoom has been helpful, there is no substitute for live, physical interaction with friends and loved ones.
My feeling helpless stems from seeing so many that are suffering, hurting, going hungry and our capacity to help as our financial resources are now almost depleted. The genuine needs present themselves daily, therefore I must find a way to replenish our financial lack.
For me, thankfully I am not, because I have a deep seated confidence of knowing that our God is in control. He will never abandon those who love Him. I have a confident expectation that we will come through, and in fact we will be better and stronger when we do.
The world is struggling
However, there are many who are living with a sense of hopelessness and that is a sad reality. Not only are people dying from contracting the coronavirus, the escalating number of deaths from suicide that is not being widely talked about is truly tragic. People have lost businesses and homes. Jobs have been lost, relationships and dreams shattered and education interrupted – all this replaced by an uncertain and unknown future.
“Are you okay” as the campaign slogan goes is a good start, but let’s go further. Carefully and gently dig a little deeper and make sure family, loved ones and friends are truly okay. If they are not okay then find a way to help and bring hope back to them. Reaching out to another is a sure tonic for your own soul. An act of love, care and compassion always returns its own reward and helps build your self esteem.
“In everything you do, be careful to treat others in the same way you’d want them to treat you, for that is the essence of all the teachings of the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 (TPT)
Break the cycle
There are ways to lessen the negative feelings. For example I think it is time to stop listening all the time to Covid-19 news reports and figures, cease from continually discussing the latest update and it being the only thing you are centred on. It is definitely time to ignore the plethora of conspiracy theories, the anti-vaccination rants and mask wearers complaints.
Speak truth – Bring hope
Believers, disciples of Jesus Christ need to be a voice of hope, reason and wisdom at all times and especially today. The Bible clearly tells us what to do, preach the Word.
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season;… 2 Timothy 4:2
The testimony of Jesus Christ is the only transformational message available for mankind, there is no one else.
There is no one else who has the power to save us, for there is only one name to whom God has given authority by which we must experience salvation: the name of Jesus.” Acts 4:12 (TPT)
So let me say this as kindly but strongly as I can, to all those spreading the latest conspiracy theories, STOP IT!! It’s not helping.
Let me ask this. Is what you are posting pointing others towards Christ? Is Jesus being glorified? Is His name being exalted and lifted up? Ask yourself, will what I’m posting edify, build up and encourage? Or will it perpetuate fear, hopelessness and misinformation that many are struggling with?
We should be living above these fanciful theories. Have you noticed how many of them have originated from the occult and/or are being promoted by people in the New Age movement or alternative lifestyle proponents, with their own agendas?
I have been shocked and, I guess if I’m honest, appalled at the lack of discernment and compassion that some Christians display. It probably has been like this for a long time, but in these days it seems more apparent.
The recent tragic explosion in Beirut is one example of the lack of compassion shown by a small number of Christians trying to align this with Jewish and Arabic conflict. Then there is the lack of discernment and wisdom, which is worrisome because it can lead to being distracted, on to deception resulting in spiritual blindness.
For the time is coming when they will no longer listen and respond to the healing words of truth because they will become selfish and proud. They will seek out teachers with soothing words that line up with their desires, saying just what they want to hear. 4 They will close their ears to the truth and believe nothing but fables and myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 (TPT)
The world is not always a truthful place as ‘fallen man’ is susceptible to lies and to spreading the same. As disciples of Jesus Christ we live above this in the realm of the Kingdom of God. We must hold fast to the truth, because it is the truth that sets us free (John 8:31-32).
Are you part of the problem or part of the answer?
This is not a trick question and the answer is easily discerned. James shows us the contrast between good and evil, the godly and the demonic. It needs little more description from me, other than to say, let’s take hold of the Word and follow its instructions.
If you consider yourself to be wise and one who understands the ways of God, advertise it with a beautiful, fruitful life guided by wisdom’s gentleness. Never brag or boast about what you’ve done and you’ll prove that you’re truly wise. 14 But if there is bitter jealousy or competition hiding in your heart, then don’t deny it and try to compensate for it by boasting and being phony. 15 For that has nothing to do with God’s heavenly wisdom but can best be described as the wisdom of this world, both selfish and devilish. 16 So wherever jealousy and selfishness are uncovered, you will also find many troubles and every kind of meanness.
17 But the wisdom from above is always pure, filled with peace, considerate and teachable. It is filled with love and never displays prejudice or hypocrisy in any form 18 and it always bears the beautiful harvest of righteousness! Good seeds of wisdom’s fruit will be planted with peaceful acts by those who cherish making peace. James 3:13-18 (Passion Translation NT)
Are you struggling with frustration, feeling helpless, hopeless? Stand on the bedrock of truth, the Word of God and pray!
Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, 7 then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. Philippians 4:6-7 (TPT)
The way you counsel and correct me makes me praise you more, for your whispers in the night give me wisdom, showing me what to do next. Psalms 16:7 (TPT)
For no matter where I am, even when I’m far from home, I will cry out to you for a father’s help. When I’m feeble and overwhelmed by life, guide me into your glory, where I am safe and sheltered. Psalms 61:2 (TPT)
Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope! Romans 15:13 (TPT)
Seasons come, seasons go and this season too will pass. Hold on, be encouraged. There is salvation, freedom and hope in Christ and in Him we find our hiding place.
In his shelter in the day of trouble, that’s where you’ll find me, for he hides me there in his holiness. He has smuggled me into his secret place, where I’m kept safe and secure—out of reach from all my enemies.Psalms 27:5 (TPT)