Trials, struggles and COVID-19
Another message from Ian Taylor in Winconsin, USA while he is in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What can we do when difficult times come? How can we understand what’s going on? We need to remember that God is still in control.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Pt. 5:8-9NIV).
“like an eagle [God] that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them [the Israelites] and carries them aloft” (Dt. 32:11).
“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isa. 40:31).
“Moab has been at rest from youth, like wine left on its dregs, not poured from one jar to another—she has not gone into exile. So she tastes as she did, and her aroma is unchanged” (Jer. 48:11).
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (Jas. 1:2-4).
“What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us [the Israelites] whenever we pray to him?” (Dt. 4:7).
“pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Th. 5:17-28).
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:16-21).
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25).
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Rom. 8:26).
“Then all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, along with all the women who were present—a large assembly—and all the people living in Lower and Upper Egypt, said to Jeremiah, “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord! We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm. But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine.” The women added, ‘When we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did not our husbands know that we were making cakes impressed with her image and pouring out drink offerings to her?’” (Jer. 44:15-19).
“I am reminded of your [Timothy’s] sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (1 Tim. 1:5).
“from infancy you [Timothy] have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 3:15).
Jesus: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Mt. 7:24).
“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. The wise prevail through great power, and those who have knowledge muster their strength” (Prov. 24:3-5).
“Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord” (Ps. 128:3-5).
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand” (Mt. 12:25).
You [Israelites] may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me” (Dt. 8:17).
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked (Rev. 3:16-17).
Jesus: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” (Mt 5:13).
Posted, March 2020