An old purportedly Chinese curse says, “May you live in interesting times.” Our times certainly are interesting, with changes, difficulties, and “wars and rumors of wars” (see Matthew 24:6) all around. However, these are also times of blessing from God’s hand.
The Lord brought us through some challenging times and transitions over the past couple of years. Health concerns sidelined a few of us, but many others remain active and perhaps even more engaged. Shut-ins may not be able to meet with us, but can serve as prayer warriors, bringing needs and opportunities before our Lord. And our Lord continues to bless all of us, sustaining our members, and bringing new people into our fellowship. They come, drawn by a viable alternative to the political tensions, fearmongering, and brokenness that saturate our country. A viable alternative, and the only real alternative. We are broken too, but God blesses us with hope, peace, and healing that only He can provide.
As a body, we are a mix of personalities. Some are quiet while others are outspoken. Some are reticent while others are bold. Regardless, 2 Timothy 1:7 states, “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” Consider these three words the Holy Spirit gave the Apostle Paul to describe the Godly spirit that replaces fear: power, for energy and effectiveness; love, for motivation and selflessness; and self-control, for discipline and focus. Power, love, and self-control, all harnessed for sake of the Gospel writ large.
Interesting times are not over, and the challenges may become daunting. However, our Lord continues to bless us with opportunities, and sometimes challenges and opportunities come hand in hand. We move forward together in this team known as the church, and this is not the time for fear. Instead, let us press forward in power, love, and self-control, encouraging and supporting each other as fellow members of the body of Christ.