29th June 2020
just what kind of world we are living in?
Listening to the news over the weekend did you, like me,
wonder just what kind of world we are living in?
Crowded beaches, social distancing being totally ignored in favour of riotous celebrations,
arson, racial tensions, stabbings, shootings.
Then there are children as young as eight wandering around with smartphones
and suddenly the internet is literally in the palm of their hands.
What effect will it have on their young lives if they access inappropriate material?
There are so many temptations for those who are vulnerable.
Reading through the Bible we see that intransigence and temptations are nothing new.
But God always gives his children the strength to overcome, if they turn to him.
Remember Potiphar's lustful wife?
She wouldn't leave Joseph alone,
but God gave Joseph the discernment and self control to run away.
In the supermarkets at the weekend
there are still essential items missing from some shelves
and checkout queues winding round the aisles.
Many people are still worried about going out,
preferring to stay safe at home.
Will this virus ever be brought under control?
Will a vaccine ever be found?
As I write this I am reminded of a profound truth;
God knows all things.
He knew this pandemic was going to happen ... and that we would be part of it.
He has created people as part of a plan to fulfil his purpose for the world.
He created Moses to bring his people out of slavery in Egypt;
Mary to be the mother of our saviour, Jesus.
Paul to bring the good news of the gospel to the gentile world.
In Jeremiah 1:5 God says to Jeremiah,
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
Before Jeremiah was even born God knew that Jeremiah would be the 'weeping prophet'
and speak out against evil during unsettled times in Israel's history.
God also created Esther in the knowledge that her life would not be easy.
She would become an orphan
and become a competitor in a beauty contest to find a new queen.
But, as Esther's cousin, Mordechai reminded her
"And who knows but that you have come to your royal position
for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14)
God knows our plans; he knows they would be changing.
He even knew there would be racial tension that would erupt
during the pandemic and the response of the people as lock-down is eased.
But God gives his children everything we need -
not just through this difficult time
but to flourish and be his voice of hope.
Nothing fazes God, he is all powerful.
Before he made us, he knew us and what was in store for us.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. (Ps. 139:14-16)
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10)
We have been chosen for
'Such a time as this."