Let the whole world know

The Fire and Our Worry

April 20, 2020 // Matt Hoffman

As Christians, we know that our faith will be tested. Peter talks about the genuineness of our faith being tested by fire (1 Peter 1:7). Watching the news, scrolling through social media, and even experiencing the personal battles my family faces, the world is staring in the dark eyes of panic.

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, businesses are beginning to fail, personal finances are becoming strained, and society is desperately grasping at hope. As dreams seemingly get put on hold—even God-given dreams–gathering together for church services is prohibited, and social interactions are severely limited. It’s easy to waver in hope. It’s during these times of trial that our faith is tested by fire.

During my devotional time this morning, I was reading through Acts 28 and couldn’t put it down. As we go through the trials of faith by fire, the enemy likes to jump out of the fire and cling to us like the snake clung to Paul. The doubts, worry, and fear attempt to steal our hope and joy. The subtle yet effective tactics of the enemy inject quiet thoughts into our minds and we tend that let them run rampant. Before we know it, we’re focusing more on the “what-ifs” instead of the one WHO IS. However, there is great encouragement in Acts 28. The fire that drove out the snake is the same fire that will kill the snake.

When the snake jumps out of the fire, we need to “take every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5), declare the promise that “no weapon formed against you shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17), and by the power in the name of Jesus shake that snake back into the refining fire (Acts 28:5).

What I find even more encouraging is the following verse: Paul was fine. The world is watching and expecting faith to fail, but seeing you carry a peace that surpasses comprehension (Philippians 4:7) and coming out as a conqueror (Romans 8:37) on the other side will cause many to recognize the power of God in your life.

We pray each day that the Lord will give us our daily bread (Matthew 6:11), meaning, the Lord will supply our provision to meet the needs of today. Jesus teaches about the futility in worry (Matthew 6:25-34), Paul teaches us in Philippians 4:6 to be anxious for nothing, and we have the promise that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13). We must not waste our strength for today by worrying about tomorrow’s problems.

Be encouraged, for the Lord is good and the Lord is faithful (Psalm 100:5), and He will complete the work He has begun in us (Philippians 1:6).

May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; may the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26).

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