Kelvin Weaver – Hope for the Future, Courage for thr Present
| HOPE FOR THE FUTURE: COURAGE FOR THE PRESENT
Greetings to you all. What strange times we are living through. As a historian I am familiar with many accounts of the Black Death, and other ‘plagues’ that have ravaged the world. Most of these stories reflect an English or European experience, but now we are sharing the suffering of people from most countries through modern media coverage.
I don’t know about you, but I find the tributes to family members who have died particularly poignant, and often wonder what God wants us to learn from our present experiences. In times past many people became closer to God, whilst others turned away. Which direction are you going in? Can you guide anyone you know in the right direction?
Please read Psalm 88.
This Psalm appears to be ascribed to two different authors. It shows the depths of despair to which we can sink in times of direst suffering and loneliness, when we are close to death (of ourselves or others). Yet even in these terrible lows the writer cries out to the Lord for help. He asks the questions that many people are asking in the present troubles. Verse 14 seems to echo the sentiments of Psalm 13, which starts with a plea to God, and ends with a declaration of trust in Him. So, what to do if you, or someone you know, is despairing or doubting? Remember that Jesus promised He would always be with us, and sent the Holy Spirit to seal that promise.
Please read Romans 8 verses 18 to 27.
The NIV titles this section ‘Future Glory’. Paul emphatically states ‘our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us’. So even if we, or our loved ones, die, new life is guaranteed for the believer. ‘For in this hope we were saved.’ As soon as we make that commitment to Jesus we are saved, ‘sealed with the Holy Spirit’. This is the reward of our faith in Him. The Holy Spirit will help us in our weakness, teaches us what to pray for, searches our hearts, and, I believe most importantly of all, ‘intercedes for us’. Likewise we should follow His example and intercede for others, whenever we can. Our intercession should be both spiritual, through prayer, and physically, through giving aid or companionship, wherever this is possible. With the current restrictions this will often be by phone or skype type connection, rather than in the flesh.
Please read Romans 8 verses 28 to 39.
The NIV titles this section ‘More Than Conquerors’. Verse 28 is one of the most well known in the Bible, but is often misinterpreted to give a human meaning to ‘good’. We can imagine our version of the best possible outcome, and then ascribe that as the will of God (ie. good). Perhaps a better word to use is right, in the sense of God’s righteousness. What God does is always right! Sometimes God decides that our time on Earth is complete, and calls us home. This will be upsetting for those left behind in the earthly sense, but is to be celebrated in the heavenly sense, as all suffering is ended in glorious new life. At other times God chooses to answer our prayers for healing, and that is glorious too, as we celebrate His gift of healing. We are to become like Jesus, both justified and glorified, because He chose us. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
God is for us because Jesus died for us. We are no longer condemned. We are no longer separated from God. Jesus intercedes for us poor sinners, making us ‘more than conquerors’! This is what we need to share with those who haven’t yet chosen Jesus.
Finally brothers and sisters please make verses 37 to 39 your anthem throughout these times, take courage from them, and share the love of Jesus, whenever you can.