From The Pastor: When It Hurts
When we are thankful, we pray. When we are hurt, we pray. When we are confused, we pray. When we receive answers, we pray. When we have a need, we pray. When a need is met, we pray. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.- 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18
This letter is written to a church that is experiencing an unhealthy amount of fear concerning the end of all things, and they believed that this time was close at hand. That reality lead them to neglect the most important day to day things within the kingdom Jesus established. They had forgotten about others while they focused on themselves.
We have a tremendous responsibility as those who know the truth about Jesus Christ to take care of those who are confused and afraid. Here is the reality of those who are confused and afraid….. they are irrational, and hyper-aggressive which leads them to look like a tornado made up of swords and baseball bats. I'm not sure about you, but when someone hits me in the face with a baseball bat I tend to get a tad bit upset. The very real nature of our current situation is just starting to pop its head out of the sand. The effects of COVID 19 are not going to disappear in the next month and the confusion and fear will most certainly not disappear by the time we step into the presidential election.
That reality, is going to require the followers of Christ to listen to these words in scripture. ENCOURAGE the fainthearted. HELP the weak. BE PATIENT with them all. DO NOT REPAY EVIL WITH EVIL…… SEEK TO DO GOOD TO EVERYONE. Here is the reality once again….. The world is going to hit you in the face with a baseball bat…… and you are going to want to swing back at them….. but Jesus has asked us not to, and instead turn the other cheek. “How in the world do you expect me to do that?”...... PRAY, and do it as often as you can.
How often do you pray? What do you pray about? What should you be praying about? All of those have answers that only you can answer. Here’s what I know, Scripture has a lot to say about prayer… so read about it. The church has set practices to pray differently over the last 2,000 years, so try some of them. Why? What I do in my prayer life is just fine….. maybe it is….. maybe its not. In that passage it also says ADMONISH THE IDOL.
If you are not challenging your prayer methods, YOU NEED TO. If you don’t have a desire to pray for people who you don’t like, YOU NEED TO. If you have never studied what Scripture says about prayer, YOU NEED TO. If you haven’t seen the power in prayer, YOU NEED TO.
WE … NEED TO…. PRAY.
Grace and Peace, Dustin B. Cooper