Our dear FPDS families,

One detail from the Spring of 2020 that everyone in this generation will remember is COVID-19. It’s a blip on the map of history but a significant blip, which has had huge ramifications in the way that it continues to impact us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Any time we turn on the television or social media, we’re bombarded with details relating to this unseen virus that has brought so many of the routines of life to a standstill, in isolation, and compelling us to ask some key existential questions. How quickly things can change? And how easy it is to be overwhelmed by worry, fear, anxiety, and even depression in this season. And yet, as Christians, in all of this, we have God. In Jesus Christ, God promises to be our hiding-place and shelter. What a glorious truth to ponder that our hiding-place and shelter IS peace, and He brings peace, and He gives peace to His children as we rest in Him.
 
You know that a brief scan of God’s Word yields reminder after reminder, exhortation after exhortation, and promise after promise. Take Psalm 103:19 which reminds us that “the Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.” Nothing escapes Him; nothing surprises Him! In fact, He purposes and ordains all things for His glory. You see, from our finite vantage point, we are never meant to grasp the secret things of God (Deut.29:29) but to merely cling to all He has revealed in Scripture. Or what about this exhortation from Phil.4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” And then, there’s this magnificent covenant promise, in Psalm 91:5-6, “You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.” Our God is so gracious to give us the faith, peace, love, and hope for each new day.
 
Friends, as we seek and thirst after God, while resting in Jesus, a question remains: in this time of waiting, and instead of allowing the ‘world’ to set our agenda, what is it that God may be desiring of us as His body? Well, here are a couple of thoughts: (i) are you humbling yourself before Him? Times like these certainly ought to humble us, and the most effective way to practice humility is to stop making life about us. Are there ways to serve others safely; (ii) are we spending the extra time praying and asking God to send His Spirit to revive the Church; (iii) have I turned from my wicked ways, which includes my ‘pet’ sins and lack of trust in the Lord. God awaits us to come before His throne as children, and as we pray, He will hear!
 
Finally, let me take the opportunity to remind you that if you are aware of any needs that arise (whether personal, for a friend, or a neighbor), please feel free to email the need to: needs@fpcjackson.org. If you need to chat or to have someone pray with you, please feel free to contact me.

As I reminded a number of the classes this week, through the Zoom devotions: God is great, God is merciful, God is good (Psalm 145:2-3, 8-9)!


 Blessings in Christ,
 Gary Sinclair