I spoke with Dr. Page this morning, Monday, March 30. The church will not meet for services or Bible Study through April. We have a great desire to meet but we must practice safety and caution. We will resume as soon as we believe we can meet safely. God did give us a brain and some common sense.
BECAUSE OF THE GOVERNOR'S PROCLAMATION, WE WILL NOT BE KEEPING THE CHURCH OFFICE OPEN IN THE MORNINGS ANYMORE. I continue to be as close to you as a phone call, if you need me. Nell Rose and I have self-quarantined ourselves, as I trust you have. Otherwise, I only leave the house to get food supplies. She continues to wipe things down with disinfectant - door knobs, counter tops, etc. Please continue to remain safe and practice good personal hygiene to protect yourself from infections.
ANNIE ARMSTRONG EASTER OFFERING FOR NORTH AMERICAN MISSIONS MONTH WILL CONTINUE TO BE RECEIVED AT LEAST THROUGH EASTER SUNDAY.
Our North American missionaries are sharing Jesus every week in places you and I cannot go. I pray that you will remember them in your love offerings.
All offerings are sent directly to the missionaries for their use on the mission field. No monies are kept for administrative purposes at the State or National offices. Pray about what the Lord would have you give to reach the lost with the good news about what Jesus did on the cross for all of us. And may the Lord bless you for your cheerful giving.
Today I am asking God to give the doctors and scientists the knowledge and wisdom to find the cure for this terrible virus. I am also asking Him to protect all the front line health care professionals that are working day and night to protect those who are getting infected - doctors, nurses, EMT's, firemen and policemen. I pray they are taking the best possible measures to keep themselves safe from this infection. I am praying that He will continue to watch over all the food growers, their workers and grocery store workers, as well as the truckers who deliver food to the stores. I believe the Lord is still blessing us because the grocery store seems to be well stocked with all the regular foods, including vegetables, fruit, meats, bread and milk. That is good! I have noticed that many at the grocery are wearing gloves and masks. Smart. That is good!
I continue to pray that we will draw ourselves into a deeper and more personal relationship with Him that causes us to be reminded that He is still in control. That is good!
Please join me in these prayers.
We are grandparents again. Emma Rose Johnson was born Wednesday, March 25, in Tuscaloosa. Both mother and baby are home and doing well. We thank the Lord that in the midst of this health crisis, He has blessed us with a beautiful new granddaughter. He is good!
These days are difficult for the believer and the non-believer. As we face disease and death, the natural reaction is fear. I contend that the supernatural reaction, the Godly reaction, should be to trust God. We are all going to die at some time and some place. We prefer not to know when and where that is. The reality of the corona virus is causing many to fear dying. The Bible says that God is working for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. In the midst of this terrible plague, God is working good. He doesn't say that the virus is good, but He says that He can work good even in it. The cooperation of the American people and industries to produce more medical supplies is one way. That is good! Some godly nurses and doctors are volunteering from other parts of the United States to go to areas where the worst of the outbreak is taking place. That is good! The country is coming together for good! I pray that we will not let negative people try to destroy what good is happening.
Praise God for Franklin Graham's messages on TV about the hope we find in Jesus Christ!!!!! THAT IS GOOD!
Some are asking where is God and why is He letting this happen? When we can't figure it all out, we get agitated and fearful. Sometimes the pieces simply will not fit. Most young and healthy people have never encountered disease and death and conclude that life should be carefree and happy. The more mature Christian understands that this is part of life.
I believe it is OK to ask why. Jesus did when He was on the cross... "Why hast thou forsaken me?"
God is not afraid for us to ask Why? Our genuine faith in Him is being tested. I believe that times like this should cause us to nurture our faith in Him. As we are staying in our homes, we have a real opportunity for spiritual growth because we can spend more time with Him in His Word. Faith ranks at the top of God's priorities. Without it, is impossible to please Him. Hebrews 11:6. He desires a living, genuine faith relationship with you.
There is a book by Dr. James Dobson titled, "When God Doesn't Make Sense."
In it, he says first that God does not owe us an explanation for the tough days we experience, nor does He promise us smooth sailing just because we are His children. He is neither a genie in a bottle nor our errand boy to make life good for us and grant our every request.
Secondly, things don't have to make sense to us. Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are My ways your ways." Clearly we lack the ability to grasp God's infinite mind or the way He intervenes in our lives. I Corinthians tells us that we see through a darkened glass, but not so with God. As Christians, we should expect confusing times. Whether young or old, tragedies will come. Those of us who have lived a long time realize these things are a part of the human condition. God gives us lots of examples in the Bible to help us in times like these. We can look at Job, Elijah, Stephen, Joseph, John the Baptist, Paul or James. Note that all were imperfect humans that went through sufferings.
Thirdly, we have the mistaken idea that we are all supposed to be healthy, well and prosperous. Not all these examples in the Bible were healthy, well and prosperous. Some were foolish and did terrible things which caused them sickness, punishment, loss of all worldly possessions and even death.
There is a beautiful Christian song titled "Trust His Heart." It simply says, "God is too wise to be mistaken, God is too good to be unkind. So when you don't understand, when you can't see His hand and when you don't know His plan, trust His heart, because He alone is faithful and true. He alone knows what is best for you."
There is no easy way to explain human suffering. It is part of the human condition. As ministers we have no simple and tidy answers. However, God may give you an answer that will help you that you did not expect.
When nothing else makes sense, God is present. Trust Him. We are cautioned in Proverbs 3:5-6 to not lean on our understanding.
And His timing is always perfect. In John 11, Mary and Martha told Jesus IF He had been there, Lazarus would not have died. Jesus reminded them that He delayed so others would see the real power of God as He raised a man who had been dead for 4 days.
Remember, He has always loved you, He still loves you, and He will always love you, whether you have been faithful to Him or not. For some reason He loves you and me.
Trust Him. He knows what He is doing!