“I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken” Psalm 16:8
At this point in time, you may be asking yourself: “Do I really believe that God is still in control, despite what’s going on in the world?” Has the Creator of the universe thrown His hands up in the air, saying “There’s nothing more I can do?” While these statements may seem ridiculous to most God-fearing people, I think we would not be human if the thought hasn’t at least crossed our minds, even as we pray! However, didn’t Jesus say, all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive? (Matthew 21:22).
So what do we make of this seemingly unprecedented moment in history?
Just about everyone I’ve spoken with has exhibited feelings of unsettledness to say the least; or downright fear and confusion on the other side of the spectrum. We’ve all seen and heard the safeguard protocols by now: hand-washing, staying home if not feeling well and practicing what’s being termed “social distancing” when out in public. All good and proper precautions that we, as a church are abiding by, even as we are now not meeting on Sundays nor having gatherings in the building during the week. Church online is now the norm! Grateful for the tech that enables it!
So relating to my first question, what is our view of God in all this?
Do we simply keep Him in mind, sending up a few prayers about healing and containment of the virus? I was encouraged that President Trump had called Sunday, March 15 as a National Day of Prayer. Hallelujah! What a great reminder and encouragement that our president believes that this immensely challenging and difficult season in our nation and in our world must be covered in prayer! But also with the belief that God hears our prayers and He is able to do something about it— which brings me back to what Jesus said about expectant prayer— that is, pray believing! Believing that not only God hears our prayers, but is able to do something with them!
The apostle Paul reminds us of just how truly essential this is, as he cites the faith of Abraham. In fact, when he (Abraham) was told by God that he would be the father of many nations, Paul said this: “In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:18-21). Abraham not only believed God, but he believed He was able to deliver on His promises! Not only that, but God delivered on those promises to Abraham far above what he ever could have asked or imagined: “Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass” (Joshua 21:43-45).
We know God never lets anything go to waste,
Including what His purposes are during this unprecedented time in our nation and world. As His church, we can take further comfort that in Christ Jesus, all God’s promises are yes! As we continue to face uncertainty in the coming days, weeks and months, we must remember that truth, as we pray believing, in a God who is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think.”
Pastor Joe Garofalo