Repopening the Churches: A reflection by John Benton 0Today we present a careful and sobering glance back at the last year's effect upon the church. We think you will find John Benton's thoughts quite poignant and perceptive...
We have something to tell you... 0If your 2020 has been like ours, you've seen many "purposes, plans and achievements" disappear. Isn't it a tremendous encouragement to know that these temporal things pale in comparison to the immovable mountain of God?
Coronavirus: A familiar crisis 0
For many of us, the Coronavirus ranks as one of the most impactful events we have ever lived through. You may have even been reassured by a friend or pastor that, “None of us knows how to navigate a pandemic.” And while this is true in the literal sense, the truth is that history offers us many examples of those who’ve suffered great loss and upheaval.
Author Shirley Stahl has spent considerable time studying this subject and offers us these thoughts, as well as an exciting announcement:
Books to read in times of crisis 0Crisis causes questions. Will I be okay? What will happen to my loved ones? Where is God in this? Are these signs of the end times? If you find yourself full of questions, these resources will point you toward truth and scripture.
The truth you need to hear 0
The voices are many. Facebook friends. Political pundits. Opinionated family members. Even our own thoughts.
These voices can murmur worries, shout frustrations and whisper lies.
For a moment, let's tune them out and tune in to some truth. We asked some of our JPL authors this question:
We were delighted (but not surprised) to see their answers full of scripture. They've tuned into the truth. Let's join them:
"Peace comes with surrender and trust. When circumstances are unchangeable, it seems glorious to be content in what I can't change. When my agendas are sabotaged, I can curse the opposing circumstances, or find the what now? A mantra branded into my spirit contains two words applicable in everything life throws at us—BUT GOD! I can complain or find the but God. In the midst of it are two incredibly applicable passages of scripture—Romans 8:28, and Habakkuk 3:17-10. These truths help me live above the arch-enemy of trust—fear!"
To Kill a Lion
"I am reminded of 1 Peter 3:15 "but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." As Christians, we always need to be prepared to give testimony to the HOPE we have in Christ no matter the circumstances.
I personally claim several of God's promises: Psalm 46:1-3 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling." God is with me no matter what is happening in and around me- the storms of Covid-19.
Lamentation 3:21-23 states, "But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." I can rely upon God's faithfulness and each day is new with more of His mercies.
And last but not least- my go-to verse is 2 Corinthians 12:9, which states, "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." I can trust that His grace is sufficient and will see me through."
dr john fesko"I try to remember that we are not the first Christians to suffer—whether David in the Psalms or John the Baptist in Herod’s prison—God has been faithful to his people through Christ in times of plenty or want. Romans 8:29-39 helps remind me to look upon all of my life through the lens of God’s love in Christ.
A second thing resonates in my mind, namely, the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism: “What is your only comfort in life and in death? A. That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ."