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September 16, 2020

When Overwhelming Trials Come, Part 5

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”  1 John 3:17-18 (NIV)

We’ve been walking through the steps Scripture gives when we face overwhelming trials . Let’s review the first six steps again:  

  • Step One:  Release your grief 
  • Step Two:  Resist bitterness 
  • Step Three:  Re-evaluate your life 
  • Step Four:  Receive help from others 
  • Step Five:  Rely on the Lord 
  • Step Six:  Refuse to be discouraged 

STEP SEVEN:  REACH OUT TO OTHERS 

It has been inspiring and so encouraging to witness the flood of response from people helping people throughout this pandemic and in the recent disaster of Hurricane Laura!  Wherever you turn, you see an outpouring of love, material goods and services given and received with grateful and humble thanks!  Reaching out to others when overwhelming trials come is one of the most Christ-like things we can do!  Jesus said, “Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8 (NIV) Just as Christ has reached out to us; we are to reach out to others as the hands and feet of Jesus.  We are the physical, visible expression of an invisible God.  Through our love and acts of kindness we reflect His image and likeness.   

In what ways are you reaching out to others?  Through this COVID-19 crisis, we’ve seen thousands of volunteers demonstrating the love of God beyond mere words of faith.  This is the message of James in James 2:14-17, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save him?  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” 

D.L. Moody said that James was the Bible bound in shoe leather!  Real faith is an attitude that prompts us to action!  We are called to “Be the Message” and not just to preach it.  When those in crisis see Christ in us by our acts of kindness, we earn the right to be heard when we share His love with them.   

Crisis time is God’s time!  He is in charge of the circumstances of our lives.  He doesn’t cause bad things to happen, but He can work all things that happen for good when we trust Him.  This is the challenge of church today!  It’s what separates the church from any other organization on earth!  The church is the hope of the world and it never shines brighter than when disaster strikes!    If you haven’t already, I challenge you to be a part of our Operation Overflow and Hurricane Relief efforts. Check out our website for ways you can give and serve as we reach out together to help others.