Devotional for Thursday July 9th

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Fresh wind, fresh fire”
Our Bible verse for today: “Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “How would you handle it if it was you?”
In the winter of 1984, there was a terrible famine in Ethiopia. Millions of people were starving and dying. The country was so poor and the resources were so scarce that there was little the average person could do to help themselves or their families. If humanitarian relief from the rest of the world didn’t arrive quickly the death toll would be catastrophic.
At Christmastime that year musicians from across Europe formed the supergroup “Band Aid” to perform a huge benefit concert to raise money for the famine. From it they released a song entitled “Do they know its Christmas?”. It was a haunting melody with compelling lyrics. The main point of the song was that while all the rest of us were carefree and going about our business, enjoying the holiday with our families and friends, feasting and exchanging gifts, the people in Ethiopia were huddled together starving to death. Did they even know it was Christmastime? Did they even care?
That song has caused me to consider my own situation in the USA right now. Along with all of you, I’m just trying to push through the pandemic, the economic meltdown, the social chaos, the political ugliness, and all the normal issues of everyday life. Sometimes I feel a little weary; sometimes I feel a little sorry for myself; and sometimes I wonder when it’s going to end so things can get back to normal. But I do know that it will end, and I know that life will return to some semblance of normalcy soon.
But what about our Christian brothers and sisters all around the world living in much worse circumstances, some of which will never get better? How would you like to be a Christian living a miserable existence in a labor camp in North Korea, knowing that you will probably never get out of there alive? Or maybe you could be living under the heavy hand of communism in China, with the full knowledge that the oppression will probably never end in your lifetime and therefore you just have to live the best life you can under the circumstances as they are. How do Christians in circumstances much worse than ours handle it?
The answer is found in Hebrews 12:1-2. They do in their circumstances the same thing we need to do in ours – keep your eyes on Jesus and keep moving forward. Stay focused on what truly matters. Improve your earthly situation as you can, but don’t lose sight of your higher calling and your eternal destiny.
When kept in perspective, we realize that our current circumstances here in the USA (as bad and uncomfortable and inconvenient and worrisome as they may be), are light compared to what many others are facing – but ours are temporary. In time, this too shall pass.
If their situation was your situation what would you do? How would you handle it? The answer is that you would keep your eyes on Jesus and you would keep moving forward. So, let’s do that now in our current circumstances.   
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2020 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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