New Times - New Mindset - 13 July 2020

Louise Gevers

“The people who love God should know that everything that happens to them is good for them. God makes it happen that way because long ago He decided to choose them to belong to Him… So because of all these things, we can say this:’We know that God is with us, and that is why we are not afraid of anyone … God loves us, so when all these bad things happen to us, we will always win.” Romans 8:28,31,37 (EBD)

These words of faith in God’s goodness to His people in all circumstances, are comforting and uplifting to us in these difficult days, when we feel that we are being attacked on every side. When Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33), His encouragement is hope to Believers to trust Him because He has ultimate authority and, therefore, the power to help us despite our circumstances. We have the choice to believe Him, and look out for mercy moments each day, or not. 

Many South Africans took advantage of the freedom the new lockdown level brought on May Day morning, delightedly streaming outdoors to exercise, wherever they could, for the specified time. Previously, nobody would have thought this limited freedom exceptional, but in this climate everyone who could embrace it was exhilarated, and grasped the opportunity enthusiastically. 

Not our dogs, though. Daisy and Lily didn’t react when we walked out onto the road, instead of embarking on the lockdown ‘normal’ of twenty laps around the house, in our own garden. For us this was a delight of hills, sunrise and fellow walkers to greet; for them it was just an earlier walk in which territorial confusion and stress reigned through meeting many more dogs on ‘their’ route. They naturally had no appreciation of the grace this concession was to us; to them, they were still in their harnesses and they took their old mindsets with them. 

Sadly, we are sometimes no different.

We can choose to be bound by fear, old feelings, pride, attachment to comfort and ritual, anxiety and confusion, or we can make a conscious decision to take a step of faith, and trust that Jesus will keep His promise to, “be with (us) always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20); that He will never leave us without help in our hour of need.

The coronavirus has changed our world, making us feel imprisoned, yet vulnerable; but, it has also given us the opportunity to relook at our values and review our mindsets in light of faith. Nobody is unaffected by the virus and its effects, which deprive us of ‘normal’ life and social activities, as we yearn for true community and family togetherness; but we can choose to have faith in God, and that way, by His grace, rediscover ourselves in Him through this changed lifestyle. So we look up.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, Please change my mind and grow my faith as you work out this time in history for our ultimate good. Amen.

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