Devotion for Saturday, May 9
A NEW PERSPECTIVE
My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind,
consider it nothing but joy,
because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance;
and let endurance have its full effect,
so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.
Whenever we face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but - joy
. Really, joy? So, right now in the middle of this pandemic, when we are faced with rising numbers of those affected and of those who have died, when we are asked to stay at home and away from our family and friends, we are supposed to have JOY? It seems, according to the Bible, that the answer to that question is YES! So, now the question is - How do we do that?
I think I may have an answer to that question. My answer is THANKFULNESS. That may seem like a strange thing to say, but I firmly believe that it is right. So...
When we are asked to stay at home...we can be thankful that we have a home. There are many around the world, around our nation and around our community who do not have a home to "stay" in. Others may be in danger of losing their homes because they can't pay the mortgage or the rent.
When we are asked to work from home...we can be thankful that we have a job. We hear the numbers of those who are unemployed; and some may not have a job to go back to when this pandemic ends.
When we are asked to stay away from our friends and family... we can be thankful that we have those loved ones in our lives and that they are safe. We WILL be able to be with them eventually. And in the meantime, we can talk with them on the phone, Facetime them, and have ZOOM conversations.
When we are told that we can't go to our favorite restaurant...we can be thankful that we have enough food to eat, even if we have to prepare it ourselves and clean up afterwards. So many around the world will go to bed hungry tonight. And...
When we are told that we cannot gather together in our churches for worship, we can be thankful that the church is not the building - it is the people and we can gather together online for worship, we can have Bible studies by way of ZOOM, we can check in on each other with a phone call, and we can email and send a text. God doesn't only meet us in the Sanctuary - He is with us wherever we are and He wants to use us to reach out to others during this difficult time.
We have so much to be thankful for, and when we express our thankfulness, we will experience true joy! Our God is an awesome God and He is right here with us no matter what our circumstances. Our joy doesn't depend on our circumstances - our joy depends on our attitude. If our attitude is one of gratitude, then we will have joy!
Let us pray: Gracious and loving Father, we thank you for being our God. Help us to always be able to see beyond our circumstances and recognize our many blessings. Amen.