I have five encouragements for us, as we continue to walk by faith in this season.
We are a people dependent on the Spirit, and a people called to pray. Our God is present, faithful, powerful and at work. May we live out Hebrews 4:16 right now…Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need. May the Lord teach us to pray in this season.
Welcome the pruning
What is being pruned away from your heart and life right now? What is being cut away, so that new growth and flourishing might result? What idol is being lovingly snipped out of your life? Maybe you’ve placed your trust in or sought to find your satisfaction in lesser things, and this whole pandemic has exposed that? Don’t resist the pruning. Welcome it, for it is for your good, the good of others, and His glory. Take heart and be encouraged, for on the other side of pruning is greater spirit-produced fruit.
Take note of and learn from the pace
The pace of life for many has changed. The ‘busy’ schedules have been disrupted. The ‘go-go-go’ has slowed, if not come to a complete stop. What are you learning about this new pace and rhythm? What is it teaching you about the relationships with those closest to you and your walk with the Lord? What new patterns have formed that you don’t want to forget in the future? What old patterns need to be left behind for good?
Make patient yet persistent progress in Christ
In the first couple weeks of the quarantine and social distancing guidelines, you were probably inundated with all the things you should be doing with the time that you now have on your hands. Read this, watch that, listen to this, do that. It is a tremendous gift some of the free resources that people have put together. The goal is not to do everything all at once. Nor is the goal to avoid growing and learning as a disciple of Jesus. Rather the goal is to make grace-driven progress in Christ on a consistent basis. Don’t try and do everything. Choose one or two new habits/tools/resources and make patient, persistent progress. Be wise with the time you have been given.
Pursue a mission mindset
You are a missionary, brother and sister in Christ. That identity didn’t begin in the pandemic, nor does it begin when it is over. Rather, since the days of the New Testament, God’s people have been called to be missionaries, ambassadors, witnesses, and disciplemakers for Christ. We are called to show and tell of the Good News of Jesus. How can you practically show of the love of God to those around you now? Who are you praying for right now? Who are you inviting to your online church service this coming Sunday? Who are you reaching out to, to check on them and express a willingness to serve?