What we have experienced over the weekend has left me with profound sadness and few words. What has been simmering for some time now in our country has catalyzed to a boil and manifested itself in all of its ugliness, spewing out like hot lava and scorching everything in its path.
In an effort to make some sense of not just the pandemic but the pandemonium that has ensued after the events of last weekend, I believe we all are seeking answers.
Make no mistake, I do not have all the answers, but one thing I do know is that God has promised to work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).
My friends, it may be difficult to focus right now and to continue working hard in whatever we are endeavoring to accomplish when so many things seem to be going wrong all around us. I would suggest that the current global and national chaos is exactly why we need to focus and be prepared to make a difference.
Sin is the root problem and the Gospel is the answer. Sin and the brokenness of humanity explain the existence of racism, violence, and rioting. The Gospel message provides hope by genuinely transforming human beings.
The experience of God’s love and forgiveness is the only thing capable of moving us to extend love and forgiveness to others instead of vengeance, bitterness, and hate. Allow what you are seeing in the world to drive you to God rather than away from him.
May God give us the ability to look beyond outward appearances and to extend his peace this week as each one of us serve as his representatives to those around us.
“Do not consider his appearance or his height… The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” Mt. 22:37-40 MSG.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Cor. 13:4-5.
Above all, I encourage you to pray. And if you do not have the words, don’t let that stop you… the Spirit will speak on your behalf!
The other night my bride and I were surprised by a visit from a couple from our church who wanted some help with a particular computer program, one which I happened to have and knew well.
They arrived at our front door at approximately 7:10 pm. After a few minutes of catching up – this was the first encounter we had with them since before COVID-19 – all of a sudden, both of their cell phones began to ring at exactly the same time. The fellow showed me his phone and said to me, “It is now 7:14 p.m.!”
Then, in unison, he and his wife began to recite aloud in our home the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
We had joined them in reciting this verse, and then together the four of us, standing in the middle of our living room, prayed for our nation. After that joint exercise, my friend explained that he and his wife have set alarms on their phone at 7:14, both a.m. and p.m. to remind them to quote the verse then pray, no matter where they are, and no matter whom they are with. My wife and I have now added those alarms to our phones too!
No matter what the solution to our national issues is, the answer that we must fall back upon is to trust in God, His promises, and His Word.
What He says, He will do!
God bless …
Chuck Tabor is a regular columnist for the News Journal and a former pastor in the area. He may be reached at email@example.com.