Devotional for Thursday May 21st

Good Morning Everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “Change can be good for you”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)
 
Our thought for today: “You can find peace in the storm.”
 
Our focus this month has been on good changes that could come out of this pandemic and its associated issues. We started the month thinking primarily about how this time of social distancing and isolation could result in spending more time with the Lord and developing new or better habits for the ways in which we practice and nurture our faith. That would be a very good outcome from this. There are many associated issues that this pandemic is forcing all of us to deal with but first, foremost, and fundamentally, it’s our relationship with the Lord that matters most – much more so than any of the other issues.
 
This is important, especially right now. We are supposed to be “in” the world – and therefore engaged in the important issues of our day, including the political, social, and economic issues; but we are not to be “of” the world – we are not to be so deeply engaged in those things that they hamper or harm our relationship with Jesus and with others. Our relationship with Jesus should impact the issues rather than the issues impacting our relationship with Jesus.
 
But for many Christians that’s not the case. Just listen to their conversations and read their Facebook posts about the issues of our day. Many Christians are up-in-arms about what they believe to be infringements on their constitutional rights (it is a concern); or they’re furious about the economic damage that has resulted from the shut-down of businesses (rightly so); or, on the other extreme, they’re living in real fear of the virus (it is contagious and deadly). Many of them, on both sides, are emotional and angry and making lots and lots of noise about it.
 
Okay. I understand. I really do. These issues are important, and as Christians we do need to be engaged in helpful ways to make a meaningful difference as people suffer and struggle through a complicated and difficult time. But regardless of what our positions are with respect to any of the associated issues, as the people of God we need to be the agents of peace and stability, rather than adding to the conflict and instability. We should be the calm ones and the voices of reason. While so many others are freaking-out we should be at peace in the midst of the storm. This is why it’s so important to stay fully focused on the Lord. Like Isaiah teaches in 26:3, God will keep in perfect peace the one who’s mind stays focused on Him.
 
When our primary focus is on Jesus instead of on the issues, we then remember who we are and who we belong to. We remember that God is sovereign and in time, these troubles will pass. We find that we can walk through the storm without being overwhelmed by the storm, and we can help others around us to handle it better as well.
 
At a time like this we need to focus a lot more on the Lord and a little less on the issues. If we do, He will give us peace about it – peace that we can then impart to others.
 
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2020 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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