When I ask the question, “What controls you?”, I’m sure that you could come up with a variety of answers. For some folks, the answer could be that the pursuit of money and material possessions controls them. For others, perhaps, it is an overwhelming desire to be accepted by other people that controls them. We know also that there are those who are controlled by an unhealthy addiction to alcohol and drugs, which we know can ruin their lives.
Whatever it is that controls us is what makes us tick.
It is our prime motivational factor. It is what makes us get up out of bed in the morning. It is what we strive and live for. This raises the question, are we striving for the right things? Are we striving for God’s things….?
Although there are certainly many things that have the potential of controlling us, in this newsletter article I wanted to focus on one thing that I believe has the potential to be prevalent amongst all of us today. FEAR. The events of this past year inspired fear. The enemy of our souls, Satan, has been using the events of this prior year to sow the seeds of doubt and fear into our hearts, minds, and lives. Am I saying that there was nothing in the past year to be fearful of? Absolutely not! We have lived through a once in a lifetime pandemic and civil/political unrest that harkens back to the turbulent 1960’s in our country. However, what I am saying, is that I believe we as God’s people can and should rise above this fear, and rediscover FAITH.
FEAR PARALYZES. FAITH ENERGIZES.
With all due respect to everyone who has used the term, “The new normal”, I have resisted the use of this phrase with all of my might. Why? In this phrase it is implied that things will never return to normal. This to me is a glass half empty phrase, rather than a glass half full phrase. Why will things not return to normal? Do we have proof of this, or is this the subtle work of our enemy entrapping us in a negative mindset? I am very hopeful that we will return to normal! What I mean by normal is that we will return to our normal activities and routines after the Coronavirus pandemic has subsided. That day has certainly not yet come. We are still in a critical and dangerous period with this virus. For now, we must remain vigilant and take all necessary safety precautions to protect ourselves, our families, and our friends. However, with that being said, I believe that a better day is coming……
Let me paint an optimistic picture of the future for you.
I see a future where Coronavirus numbers have gone into the basement due to us taking safety precautions and receiving the vaccine if you feel led to do so. I see our church returning to normal, with those precious souls who have had to stay home, returning to our sweet fellowship. I see each of you being able to visit children and grandchildren once again without the fear of getting sick. I see beautiful Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings.
Church family, I believe God has a bright future in store for us as His dearly loved people. Don’t let the enemy of your souls steal your hope, joy, and peace from you. Don’t be overcome by the darkness of fear and discouragement, but instead be preparing yourselves for a new season of fruitful ministry when this pandemic is over. May Jeremiah 29:11 (below) be our theme verse in this season as we patiently await the next season that God is in the process of bringing about. In the words of Jesus, “DO NOT FEAR”. (Luke 12:32).
Be blessed, be faithful, be thankful, even now….as we anticipate the bright future together.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)