Helpful Guidance during a Difficult Season
All of us have been closely following the unfolding developments pertaining to the spread of the Coronavirus to the point of being labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization. My inbox has been inundated by letters from specialized businesses, retail establishments, restaurants, etc. addressing the practical issues relating to this pandemic as it impacts their realms of influence.
As our president and national leaders, state and local authorities seek to fulfill their God ordained responsibilities (1 Timothy 2:1-2), the church is also ordained by God to use each moment as an opportunity to point others to the hope and peace that is available to everyone who embraces the glorious gospel of God’s grace (1 Timothy 2:3-6).
Pray for the impact of this pandemic upon missionary families, missions endeavors, and those who are involved in areas greatly impacted by the spread of the virus. Churches may want to consider paying some missions support in advance to assist foreign missionaries during these days of additional expenses and difficulties. Remember those who are ill or shut-in, especially the elderly, who may have limited contact with family members and guests due to restrictions regarding visits. Phone calls, mailed cards (they do still print these), and special gift packages will be a source of encouragement during these days which especially impact those who are infirm and/or isolated.
Finally, and most importantly, let us all remember that the spread of the gospel knows no boundaries as we pray for one another and the opportunities that God will allow “for such a time as this.” Let us join together in prayer for our world at this critical, attention-capturing moment. The Church of Jesus Christ has a wonderful opportunity to point others to Christ and to demonstrate compassion and godly love to those around us. Embrace this admonition shared by the Apostle Peter:
“[Let us] turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.” (1 Peter 3:11-17 ESV)