Kia ora Cambridge Baptist and friends,
I have to say that I was very disappointed about the government’s decision to keep churches closed for at least another 2 weeks. While I understand the government’s rationale, it is difficult to accept that people can go to the movies, to a sports game (practicing social distancing of course) and in a week to a tavern and bar but can’t go to church because there is a danger we might fellowship too closely. Given few government ministers hold any religious views I can’t help wondering if they really know, or care about, what they are asking people of faith to do?
However, while we can feel disappointed, and even angry about what we are being asked to endure, it important that we don’t let these feelings morph into sin.
I believe it’s important at such times to follow David’s example in Psalm 51 when he prays:
“restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
While David, is battling feelings of guilt and shame in this psalm, I believe the same principle applies to any emotion that threatens to overwhelm us. We need to ask God’s help for a willing spirit to overcome such feelings and remember the joy that is ours as a result of our salvation. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:17 in light of eternity this trouble is light and momentary.
But if we ask for God’s help, and we believe that God gives it freely, we should act upon it in faith by doing what we can until we come through the other side of our trouble. We shouldn’t simply wait to feel happy or joyful. God has declared He has already given us all we need through his Spirit. As we believe this and act upon it He will sustain us. I believe in the doing God will again fill our hearts with joy.
This is what happened with David. He acknowledged is feelings of shame and guilt, but he took the positive step of confessing them to the Lord and then busied himself with what God had asked him to do knowing that God had forgiven him.
Lord, thank you when we are feeling disappointed, and despondent and even angry we can come to you with these emotions and ask for your help. Lord sustain us during these difficult times and remind us afresh of the joy of our salvation.