This fresh set of Daily Devotions is being provided for our LCA/NZ family, friends and visitors to help us to keep our eyes on Jesus as we face unsettling times. They can be used by families and individuals as part of the LCA/NZ’s Church@Home resources to encourage us and build trust in our Heavenly Father during this season of uncertainty and physical isolation.
Click here for your printable verse to carry with you today.
Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16,17).
‘She was stunned.’
In Queensland our local election went ahead despite the distancing rules. The early polling booth was a crush of cars, a busy ‘shed’, and a diligent team of workers serving. We kept our distance apart, received disinfected pencils, and soon arrived at a desk to get our vote papers. I (Robin) went first, and made a point of giving an encouraging word, ‘Thank you for coming out and serving us’. Lis was next to the desk. She told me later, ‘She [the assistant] was stunned, explaining that this was only the second time she had received some encouragement’.
‘We’ve had 14,000 people through here and so much abuse.’
In this time of stress, fear and anger we can expect outbursts of hostility. We are on the brink, too. It’s a season of fear and frustration. But that does not need to control us.
Paul’s words in our reading were sent to a church living with hostile persecution. Our stress is not new. An upbeat Christian song by Kirk Franklin asks: ‘Woke up to a world that is changing, got me wondering, will we be okay? You say, all my needs, you promised, you got it. Gotta remember, that my God is bigger than any battle I’ll ever face. It’s dark right now, but I see the light. I’m gonna be okay.’
Paul lived in that light. Not even a prison cell was dark to him. He saw reasons to be thankful in every circumstance. We too have plenty to be thankful for right now – God’s promises, people serving us, caring for us, encouraging us, praying with us, keeping in contact. Watch as joy comes by simply giving thanks.
Father of our joys, prompt us today to see all there is to be thankful for in our circumstances. Grant us the opportunity to pass on thanks, to replace abuse with gratitude and care, sharing your love. Amen.