Injustice. Inequality. Two characteristics that seem to be the hallmarks of our twisted age. In a remarkably short period, Western culture seems to have gone from a relatively peaceful sense of social tranquility to upheaval and pandemonium. Do you sense that something’s going to break if you see any more unnecessary pain, injustice, inhumanity and malcontent? Do you feel the weight? Does it seem too much to fathom, let alone bear?
Over 2,000 years ago, the birth pangs of the present were predicted, and along with the foretelling came additional words—words of comfort. Jesus clearly indicated that in the midst of this present storm—which was no surprise to Him—we were to take heart. In the darkness of our present condition, there is hope. Not just a glimmer of it, either. But a burgeoning, vast expanse—a bright vista full of promise and insurmountable anticipation seated secure upon an eternal foundation.
He who is Truth embodied has declared it is so. In Christ we have a promise that the last will be first, and the self-obsessed will be exposed and laid barren. In Christ we have assurance that the untold misery that affronts our senses daily is going to cease. In one moment—a shakedown that separates wheat from chaff, genuine from fake, true from false.
In the midst of the storm, fear not. Take hope and faint not.
Father, these days seem like none other we have known. Although there is a familiarity bred by our reading and study of Scripture, nevertheless each new day, each passing news cycle, seems foreign to our senses and most certainly to the world many of us have known and lived in for most of our lives.
We cannot walk by sight through these times. We cannot anticipate familiar institutions and landmarks built by our predecessors for their times. We must look beyond to the Rock immovable.
We beseech You to strengthen and encourage our resolve to reach out to Jesus alone, as did Peter in his storm. We ask You to write upon our spirits the stories of Daniel in the lions’ den, the three Hebrew children in the furnace, the apostles in their trials.
We ask that our faith might have a contagious quality that compels our friends, foes and neighbours to enquire—“What gives you this calm in this storm?” And in their asking, may Your Spirit give us the specific word that will answer and plant salvation faith in their hearts as well.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Matthew 5:3-12— “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Matthew 10:28—”Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Matthew 10:38-39— “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”
Matthew 8:23-26—“Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”
Matthew 10:21,22—“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
1 John 4:18—“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
Twice a week during the month of July we encourage you to watch for stories that will be shared on paoc.org and through our Mission Canada social media feeds. Our nation has never experienced times like we are journeying through right now. And as pastors, leaders and people of faith, we do not journey alone. God goes before us. He is all around us. He is giving wisdom and creativity to those who ask. He is making a way where we didn’t see it possible. And He has not stopped providing for our needs. As the Church, we are seeing God work in great ways to call people unto Himself. You will be encouraged as you hear what God is doing and how He is using those in our PAOC family to bring the good news of Jesus to fellow Canadians—those who need to know the Giver of peace, protection, comfort and care, especially in these uncertain days. The Church is very much alive and active, and God reigns supreme!
Click here to read stories of transformation: https://paoc.org/family/annual-initiatives/transforming-canada-together/stories.
Visit Mission Canada on Instagram and follow stories here: www.instagram.com/mission_canada or @mission_canada.
Visit Mission Canada on Twitter and follow stories here: www.twitter.com/missioncanada or @missioncanada.
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