March 29, 2020

God Is In Control

At times like this, we need to hang on to truths that do not change. The Word of God is that truth. The Bible emphasizes getting the facts.

Not everything you hear is true. Not everyone with an opinion on the Internet, television, or social media knows what they’re talking about. Be selective with who you listen to during this time. The Bible says in Proverbs 13:16, “The prudent man always acts out of knowledge” (NIV). In other words, act out of knowledge and not fear.

Not everyone is at equal risk in this pandemic. The history of COVID-19 is very clear. People over the age of 60 and those who have preexisting conditions are most vulnerable. Be faithful but not foolish.

This will pass. The Bible tells us there will be trials. First Peter 4:12 says, “Dear friends, don’t be surprised or shocked that you are going through testing that is like walking through fire”(CEV). Our churches will gather again – people will gather again.

Focus on what’s unchanging not what is changing. There have been many changes to our world, and our community. More will come. Be flexible but remember what hasn’t changed. The Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 NIV).

God will go through it with you. This virus didn’t surprise God. He will walk through every bit of it with us. You may feel alone at times. We will never be alone. I encourage you to remind yourself of Isaiah 43:2 during this time: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (NIV). Focus on that truth and not all the noise on the Internet right now. It will replace your worry with worship.

This is not the end of the story. The Bible says, “In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again . . . because we know that God raised the Lord Jesus to life” (2 Corinthians 4:8, 14 CEV). Easter reminds us that we win no matter what happens. Even if it feels like Friday, Sunday is coming! Even if this virus takes our lives, we will go straight into the presence of God. On that day, all of our pain, sickness, and sorrow will be over. We don’t know what the future holds, but we do know who holds it.

God will use our churches to help others. Our church is going through an incredible challenge right now. But God doesn’t want to just take our church through this crisis. He doesn’t just want our church to survive - He wants it to thrive. Today we don’t even know the kinds of challenges our community will face, but God does. Jesus himself reminds us that “all the powers of hell will not conquer” the church (Matthew 16:18 NIV).

So here I am reaching out – to confirm that we are not our own. We have been bought and paid for with a price. We as committed disciples of Jesus Christ, must show His light, His strength and His compassion to others.

As announced in on-line service this morning, TCC has been blessed with a grant to help our people, our forever family, who have been affected by COVID-19 financially. If this applies to you, please reach out to one of the elders with your situation and needs. While funds are limited, we do want to make as big a difference as we can with what we have been given.

Being part of the family of God comes with both responsibilities and blessings. “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God ….”

(Adapted from an article by Rick Warren.)

Pastor Deb