"It's sad to see the TV network that I grew up with shut down."
"The government is so confusing!"
"Why didn't I receive relief goods?"
"Why is the lockdown extended?"
These statements prove that times are difficult. It seems it is going to get harder before things get better. It is easy to focus on negative thoughts and be distracted from the things that really matter.
We need all the help we can get, so I encourage everyone to take time to reflect on the word of God. A few minutes of reading God's word can change our perspective.
Our key verse for this devotional story is timely:
13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) so that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
Paul told his friends that he wanted to visit them but could not. This is what all of us feel right now, imprisoned.
Here are my key takeaways from the verse.
1. Express Your Affection
Paul wanted his brethren to know that he wanted to visit them. He told his friends that he wanted to be with them. He did not shy away from expressing his emotions.
In the same way, we should tell our loved ones how much we long and care for them. We should tell them we miss them and maybe plan the things we would be doing when all of this is over.
Instead of dwelling on negativity, use the time to catch up with friends and family. Let us not miss the opportunity to say how much we love them.
English Standard Version
34 A new commandment I give to you that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this, all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another."
God told us to love one another, and we should obey. Let us focus on spreading love rather than hate.
2. Trials are Normal
Paul planned to visit his brothers and sisters, but things happened that prevented him from doing so. Paul was trapped like us! He was not exempted from hardship.
God did not promise us a life of comfort but a life of victory. Winning requires a fight and we must be ready for battle daily.
1 Peter 5:10
English Standard Version
10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
Always remember that the challenges we face are not meant to destroy us but to make us better.
Find the good in every situation. These may be challenging times, but we will have a better appreciation of life after this pandemic. We will come out of this phase more durable than ever.
3. God's Mission is the Goal
Paul longed to visit his friends to share God's love. Paul wanted more people to fall in love with Jesus.
English Standard Version
18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
We may be in lockdown but do not forget that we are still called to share God's love. We may not be able to share the Gospel face to face, but technology can help us spread God's word. When an opportunity comes up to talk about God's promises, grab it.
Sum It Up
Amid hard times we should continue to show love. Say words that will give hope. Do things that will make people smile. Tell friends and family how much we care for them.
Find inspiration in hard times. Do not let hardship get you down. What does not kill us will make us stronger. God is with us in this struggle.
Let us talk about Jesus. Now is the best time. Jesus is all about faith, hope and love. He is all about healing, blessings, and success. He is everything that we need right now. We should seek and share Jesus more.
Prayer of Salvation
Friend, if you want to know Jesus, but you are unsure of your standing in faith, say this prayer.
God sees your heart, so say the words with conviction and faith.
"Father, I am a sinner. Forgive my sins. I believe that Jesus died on the cross so I could live fully on earth and in heaven. Change my heart and mind according to your will. This I pray, in the mighty Name of Jesus, amen."
Friend, if you prayed this prayer in faith, I believe you have set things right with God.
If you want to grow in faith, find a Bible-based church. You can also reach out to me through my social media platforms and this website, www.high3r.com. I would love to hear from you.
Thank you for reading this devotional story, and I pray that it encouraged and empowered you in your walk with Christ. Please read other devotional stories on the website.
If you are interested in supporting this ministry of sharing the gospel online, please subscribe, like and share this devotional story so we can spread God's goodness, empowerment, and love.