A Weekly Word from your Pastor
A Weekly Word from your Pastor
“2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” James 1:2-8
As I think about everything that we are dealing with during this pandemic, I cannot help but to wonder where our Spiritual temperatures are in relation to the lives we are living. As most of you know if you enter any type of physician’s office they take your temperature before you are allowed to enter. They often ask you a bunch of questions about if you have traveled out of the US, have you been around someone who has tested positive for COVID and others before you are allowed into the office. Most offices are not allowing you to sit in the waiting room. I went to the eye doctor on Monday and had to wait outside until they came and got me. When you visit the stores or other businesses they are requesting you wear a mask. Now there are even laws that say you have to wear mask in certain cities and now there are many states that require that if you go out of your home you have to wear a mask.
We are living in unprecedented times for most of us. We have all mostly lived good stable lives and now our worlds have been turned upside down. Some people are adamant about how bad the virus is. Some are believing that it is not as bad as we are being told. Some are in between. All of us are living in the reality of the fact that something is different.
I could not help but to pass on the word “persevere” to you this week. The dictionary defines the word like this, “to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.” The longer this pandemic last the more I hear people saying, “Surly it will go away one day.” They say that with hope in their voice, but it is almost lost in the maybe.
So how do we as Spiritual beings take our temperature during these difficult days? How do we keep moving forward when there are some who are not comfortable yet and are still taking precautions? How do we move forward in reaching people with the gospel when we are tentative in restarting group gathers? We are hesitant in being inside for fellowship meals, outreach programs, VBS, and other activities of the church. How do I continue to grow spiritually if opportunities seem to be fading away?
James focuses on the “trials of many kinds” mentality. He says “Persevere.” Don’t throw up your hands and say I can’t. If you are unable to return to worship yet, don’t give up. Watch on line. Read the materials that are offered. Reach out to others by phone and have a spiritual conversation. If you are attending worship do not let that be all you are doing. Keep reading God’s word. None of us should ever stop praying.
I believe that one day we will get back to some form of normalcy. Yet, even if we are forced to lean a new normal, God will not stop working in our lives and mature us to be the people He wants us to be. James says, to doubt God is to be thrown around by the wind. He says too doubt God is to be double-minded and unstable. We must be one minded. We must believe that no matter the circumstances or the various trials that God will see us through.
We need to pay close attention to what James says in verse 5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who give generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” In this day of various trials we need more and more wisdom to navigate these times.
If I were to take your spiritual temperature before you entered the worship service or could do it remotely before you logged on to the online service what would I find? Are you doing everything necessary to excel spiritually as you are to excel physically?
Let’s persevere and when this is all over be even closer to God that we were in the beginning! Pastor Josh and I are always here if you need us for anything. Have a great week!
Dear Jesus, help us to persevere in these trials we are living in today. Help us to become more mature in the faith even when things are different and changing every day. Help us to gain more wisdom by asking and believing that you will give it to us. Help us not to be blown by every wind that comes our way, but to find ourselves grounded in you and in you alone. We ask all of this in you Holy name, Amen.