Dear Church Family
Good day! As the Scripture says,
Psalms 89:15-16 Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O LORD, in the light of Your countenance. In Your name they rejoice all day long, And in Your righteousness they are exalted.
We, as Bible-believing Christians, do not imagine ourselves to be at the whim of every wind of the fates, carrying us mindlessly from one event to another, day by day, with no design or purpose. No, we understand that our lives are ruled by the providence of a good and sovereign God who controls all things with wise reason and with a divine strategy in mind.
Thomas Boston, in his book The Crook in the Lot, puts it this way:
There is such great comfort in knowing this and resting in it. You may remember that it was the thing that kept Joseph’s heart from being overcome with self-pity or anger despite his brother’s wicked treatment of him. After his father died the brothers were sure that Joseph, now a powerful and influential leader in Egypt, would punish them, but his response to their fears sums up what it means to be at rest in the providence of God.
Genesis 50:19-21 Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones." And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
All of our lives are unfolding according to His good purposes for each one of us, but those purposes take many shapes and forms, and it is important that we be praying for one another with this in mind. You see this emphasized in the New Testament where we are told to rejoice with those who rejoice or to weep with those who weep. In another place, Paul says…
1 Corinthians 12:26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
And Hebrews adds…
Hebrews 13:3 Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.
Right now most of us are secure in our homes, well-supplied, and as safe as we can be under the circumstances. But we have friends and family, brothers and sisters in Christ, whose jobs and callings take them not only out into the world, but into the places where this virus can be found.
Those in the medical field, like the Stones, and first responders like Bill Sawaya and others, have to be at ground zero because that is where they have been called by providence as they serve us and the community. They are also in a unique position to be able to bear witness for Christ, both as the King of their lives and Savior of men and women.
The call of Scripture is to pray for these friends just as we would be praying for ourselves if we were in their place.
Others have “essential” jobs and cannot avoid being out and about too. Again, we are to pray for them as we would if it were us, or our spouse, or our child.
Still others have loved ones in jeopardy, or with such serious underlying circumstances that they are in more danger than others—these too need our prayers.
And some have their jobs in danger, as their places of business weather the shut-down.
I don’t mention these folks at the exclusion of others; the point is to be praying for one another, and when we know that some are in more danger than others, then we need to be praying accordingly.
So, thank you for praying! I know it encourages our folks on the frontlines to know that we have their backs before the throne of grace!
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for the privilege of being able to pray for one another. We thank you for the comfort that comes from knowing that we have friends who love us and are carrying our needs before the mercy seat. Make us faithful stewards of this privilege by Your grace.
Keep our friends and family involved in the medical field and our first responders safe and well, Lord. Watch over them and let them rest in the wisdom and purpose of Your Providence in their lives. Comfort and encourage their families. And Lord, as this infection will undoubtedly impact some of our lives more directly, prepare our hearts for the determination of Your will, so that we may be faithful in all things.
And may Yours be the power and the glory, both now and forever, through Christ our Lord we pray, Amen.