When God called me to the mission field, I learned a very challenging but interesting lesson. He told me to leave behind everything I owned, my friends & family, and even my dog. I felt like God was saying that I needed to walk away from the old and into something else He had for me. Now that was pretty difficult, having lived a very comfortable life without much real struggle. This required me to walk out into the unknown, by faith, fully trusting that God would provide for my every need. Initially taking that step of faith, I didn’t have a place to stay or even enough money for food. What I realized then, was that my life until that moment never actually required me to live by TRUE FAITH, fully leaning on God for my every need. In the past, if I ever got sick, I would just go to the doctor. If I wanted to buy something, I would work hard and buy it. My every need seemed to be satisfied by relying on my own ability and those who could help me out. But if you would have asked back then if I had faith in God for my every need, I would say “for sure”. But the reality was, I didn’t feel the need to have faith because I was never in a position where I had to be solely reliant on God Himself.
With the current coronavirus epidemic, I was reminded of my time on the mission field. The time where I needed to trust God for everything. This got me thinking about the difference between a person who has put his or her trust in Jesus Christ, versus a person who trusts only in their own ability and the systems of this world. As Christians, we have faith in a God greater than ourselves, which gives us hope, especially in times of the unknown. Nothing in this temporary world is greater or more important than our eternal destination. And for those who trust in Christ, it is a wonderful destination! There is no earthly suffering that can take us away from our Creator, and no disease that can scare us so deeply that we lose our Hope in Him. If anything, these circumstances should draw us closer to Jesus, trusting in him for our daily needs and cause us to look forward to an eternity with him.
For those of you who do not have God in your life, where do you find hope? Is the only hope you have in yourself and in this world, which will one day fade away? Without God, there is no promise of eternal life in heaven. There is no promise of peace which surpasses our understanding, especially when times get hard. There is no greater purpose in life. And when something like this epidemic hits or you go through a devastating situation, your entire world and everything you put your trust in simply shatters. I want to challenge you to ask yourself these hard but important questions.
The reality is that we can say we have faith in God and put our trust in Jesus Christ, but until we are actually in a situation where we have to exercise our faith, they are just words that we say with false confidence. Difficult situations like this will confirm that hope or show us that we need to exercise that faith “muscle”. When you have Jesus Christ in your life and you live daily with Him, nothing should ever take us away from the hope that we have for today, and eternity to come. Trust God and know that He is in control.