I am a warm blooded type person, I am almost never cold and often hot. Even during the Winter I have to be told to wear a coat or hat because I am not feeling cold. My wife on the other hand, is often cold and so at night we have this big old duvet on our bed that my wife uses and I shove off me...at least until the middle of the night when I sometimes wake up and pull it onto me. This exact thing happened last night. I woke up feeling cold, pulled the duvet onto me and immediately felt this warm and comforting weight help me go back into a deep sleep.
For many of us this world is feeling cold and unforgiving (and I'm not just talking about the weather outside). Between the bitter divide of an election, the uproar over BLM and other protests and the number of COVID infections going up and up, we might start to worry, stress and fear.
2 Corinthians 1:2-4 says "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."
I pray that you, when you feel this cold wind of fear or worry, will know that God is a bit like that warm duvet. He gives comfort to us in our times of trouble and with that same comfort we can be a comfort to others.
Don't ignore your feelings, but know that God is greater and stronger than all of it and will give us peace.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. – 1 Timothy 2:1-6
Some of us may not be overly fond of the election results this past week. Regardless of which candidate claimed your vote, no candidate is our King. In this passage above, Paul is telling Timothy to pray for people in authority over him—that included the roman empire—an empire who persecuted Christians with public executions. And yet, Paul still told Timothy to pray for them… to pray for all people. I am grateful to live in a nation that does not make my faith illegal. I count it a blessing.
You may not like Joe Biden, or you may be ecstatic that he was elected, but that doesn’t matter. We should still pray for him because just like you and me, he was created in God’s image too. And we should remember that our nation is a blip in history—dust in the wind. The Kingdom of God is where our loyalty lies, and it lasts forever and ever, Amen!
We just started our annual "At the Movies" series at Six Points and it gives us a chance to use films to help tell the Biblical story in a new and hopefully fun way.
My favorite movie has always been a toss up between Hoosiers (which I wore out multiple copies of growing up) and Shawshank Redemption. I likely don't need to tell you much about Hoosiers as I think it's required viewing for all who live in our great state; but maybe some of you haven't seen The Shawshank Redemption.
Shawshank is the story of Andy Dufresne who is convicted for the murder of his wife, but is innocent. Inside Shawshank prison he is beaten and assaulted; but also does make some close friends who help keep him going. He keeps himself busy reading, but also slowly digging through a cement wall each night in a plan to free himself and make it to Mexico. The movie ends with a powerful line that always gets my goosebumps going, "I hope I can make it across the border. I hope the pacific is as blue as it is in my dreams. I hope I get to see my friend. I hope..."
It is this hope of freedom that keeps Andy going through all those terrible moments in prison. Hope, it turns out, is a powerful thing.
in Romans 5 we are told of the hope we have in Christ, which is even more powerful than Andy's hope in freedom or friendship. Paul says, "we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of our God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts"
So no matter how dark or long the night may seem or how large or scary the storms of this world may blow; we have hope in our God. We may have to endure and persevere through; but we know we are not alone.
I hope to walk upon the streets of gold one day. I hope to hold the hand of Jesus. I hope to see my grandparents again. I hope...and this hope, doesn't put us to shame because we have God's love in our hearts!