HONORING JESUS OUR POWERFUL ENCOURAGER
The world is in desperate need for hope. The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact to our lives creates a longing to see the flattening of the curve, no more quarantine measures, a cure and a vaccine. Indeed, the pandemic has deeply affected us. Our churches, organizations, families, health, livelihood will see the effects of this for years to come.
All of us can experience anxiety, fear and discouragements. In all these challenges today we need a LIVING HOPE – a real example that which gives us proof that we can overcome the hardships of life. Jesus is the perfect living hope for us. He lived life on earth and was victorious over trials and even death. Jesus is our hope that lives forever.
What are our reasons to hope in Jesus? There are a mountain of reasons to hope in Jesus. However, we like to focus on five of them for this article. These are reasons to hope in Jesus based on Pastor Ricky Sarthou’s message during the PCEC Thanksgiving Celebration.
HIS CHOICE OF IMPERFECT PEOPLE
God chose ordinary people like us to make a difference for His glory. The Bible is filled with stories of ordinary people like Peter who used to be an impulsive person. He denied the Lord Jesus Christ three times. But he is the same Peter whom the Lord Jesus Christ commissioned “Feed my Sheep” (Jn.21:17, NASB). We honor the Lord Jesus Christ for choosing imperfect people like us, to do his perfect work on earth and there is no other plan greater than this. It’s a wonderful privilege to be part of his plan. God isn’t looking for super-humans. He loves us and has a plan for us in his grand scheme of things.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Lord Jesus knows our imperfections better than us. He knows that we will need help and empowerment as we live in this imperfect world. This is why He provided the best helper for us – The Holy Spirit. God did not abandon us when Jesus ascended to heaven. Today, especially in this pandemic crisis, we can experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit to empower us to have the fruit of the Holy Spirit: Love,Joy,Peace,Patience,Kindness,Goodness,Faithfulness,Gentleness and Self-Control…” (Gal.5:22-23 NASB).
We always hear the words “new normal” nowadays. For us Christians, we believe that the Spirit-Filled life is normal Christian life. The late Dr. Bill Bright of Cru International said “Next to sharing the gospel, the most important thing to share with anyone is how to live a spirit-filled life.” Let us ask the Lord to fill us with the Holy Spirit moment by moment and day by day.
HIS GREAT MERCY
We have lost our way a lot of times but The Lord Jesus Christ seeks us and brings us back to the right path. Though we resist Him at times we are won by his love. His grace make us brand new. This is great mercy from the Lord to us his children!
In times of discouragement we must remember that God extends His mercy to us. The salvation we received from God saved us from death in our sins. God saved us from our wordly ways and made us sons and daughters in his Kingdom. We can remain hopeful because of this great mercy from God.
HIS PROMISED INHERITANCE
More than anything we receive here in this life is our eternal inheritance. The Bible describes it this way: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Rev.21:4 NASB)
Jesus described our eternal inheritance in John 14:2-4: “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” To receive the fullness of the promised inheritance, one must surrender your life to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith.
HIS DIVINE PROTECTION
Observing the strictest safety measures does not guarantee that we will 100% be safe from the virus. We can only do so much to protect ourself in this life. However, the Lord Jesus Christ, our living hope grants us eternal security and divine protection. The book of Jude writes about his. “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy..”(Jude 1:24, NASB) Paul also writes, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (2 Tim. 4:18,NASB) While we do our part to be safe and protect our Christian testimony we must keep in mind that the Lord Jesus Christ is our shield and our strength.
My dear friend, How are you? Perhaps you felt overwhelmed by the challenges in your life or grappled with uncertainties due to the pandemic, let me encourage you: Honor Christ, our Powerful Encourager.