In this season of isolation and social distancing, have there been times when you feel like you have fallen and failed and felt like giving up? If so, take heart in knowing that you are not alone. We all have been there at one time or another. When that happens, it is imperative that we remember that God is good and that He loves us so very much. He never leaves us to live life alone but walks with us every moment of every day. In every situation, He is at work giving us opportunities to know Him more and to live like Jesus. Jesus has made a way for us and as we look to Him, He will strengthen, guide and empower us do all that He has placed on our hearts.
Whenever life seems hard, it is helpful to praise. Paul, in Hebrews 13:15-16 tells us:
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
In heaven, it will never be a sacrifice to praise God, so here on earth, we can give to Him something that we will never be able to give to Him in heaven – a sacrifice of praise. A sacrifice of praise is when we don’t feel like praising or it is really hard to think of praising because we are sad, unhappy, in pain etc. At these times, I tell my “self”, “Self, you don’t get to decide what I am going to do, and feelings you don’t get to determine how I behave. Holy Spirit leads me and I submit to Him alone. He tells me to praise so whether I feel like it or not, whether this situation seems praiseworthy or not, I am still going to choose to praise God for He is always worthy of my praise.”
We must remember that we live for Jesus not for ourselves. Jesus didn’t just die for us so that we could one day go to heaven and be with Him (which is true and we will), but He died so that He could get heaven into us so that we can live like Him here on earth. We are His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) and Jesus wants us to show people everywhere what He is like and how good He is. Now that Holy Spirit lives inside of us, we too can choose to let Him lead us just like Jesus did. That is how we can show people who God is and what He is like.
With the way things are now, being isolated and unable to live life as before, it can be tempting to become hopeless. Remember that God is not surprised or threatened by COVID-19. Instead of focusing on all the things that we can no longer do and the things we are missing, why not ask Holy Spirit to show you the new ways He is doing things, the opportunities He is creating, and to give you His creative ideas and strategies to enable you to thrive and shine for Him. God has not stopped working. He is still building His church and His Kingdom is still advancing. It may not look like it did before, but we know that while this world is temporary and changes all the time, our God does not change – He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He is always good, always faithful, always loving. As you read this, may Holy Spirit remind you of how He has been faithful in the past. As you set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:2) may He bring to mind scriptures to encourage you at this time and remember, God has not changed.