The highway in front of our house is awkwardly quiet, along with our small tourist town of Shipshewana, Indiana. Like the rest of the world, we are staying at home. Creating a new normal. And turning to God.
I hope you are also turning to God in our unprecedented times. “Turning” looks different for each of us. I want to share ten resources that bring hope in hard times. Hopefully one of these will encourage you and give you HOPE.
1. Devotionals by Christians who lived through adverse circumstances. I currently read Edge of His Ways by Amy Carmichael, Streams in the Desert by L. B. Cowman, and My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers every morning. All of them lived faithfully is hard times, perhaps much harder than our own. You can read two of these online daily.
2. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is THE hope humanity has. God knows the timing of the pandemic during Easter week. As the crisis has settled on me, two images have come to mind:
Numbers 21:4-9 God gave life to dying Israelites by instructing Moses to lift up an image of a snake on a pole. Those bitten by the snake would live by looking up at the snake on the pole..
Matthew 27-28 God gives eternal life to all dying people by believing in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ also provides hope and peace amidst suffering and adversity.
His peace is nothing that can be attained elsewhere. It’s a supernatural peace that comes lovingly from Jesus Christ to those he cares for and shepherds. Like a Father or mother taking care of his or her child, comforting you though fear surrounds you, this peace and comfort helps you face fear, uncertainty, loss, and even death.
If you do not know this peace, or have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, find out more here. Please email me if you have questions or would like for me to pray for you. I would be honored to do so.
3. We have free, practical help your families in crisis! Join me and Erin Bishop from Whatever Girls for a FREE webinar on how to help your kids and family through this crisis. Click the link here.
4. We have help for families with seniors, teens, and young adults (like mine) who have BIG life events interrupted and cancelled. Join the Fledge Parent Facebook Forum, and watch the broadcast this Monday, April 13, at 1:00 EST or on the replay. I’ll be talking specifically to moms of Seniors, teens, and young adults who are facing big interruptions.
I also have last week’s Fledge broadcast on YouTube. Catch it here!
5. Fledge equips you to focus on your home, family culture, and the individual during the Stay at Home mandate. Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind has several chapters (reread chapters 5, 6, 7, & 8) to learn the nuances of home, family, and the individual. If you haven’t purchased Fledge, you can order it at online retailers (even Walmart!) or get the Kindle version directly to your phone or tablet, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can purchase on from me and I’ll mail a signed copy to you. Mail is a great connection these days, isn’t it?
6. Use the resources you have at your fingertips. Do you remember the games you played, the activities you did when bored, and the way you fixed or created things before technology and a disposable society made things too simple and easy? Use the resources you were raised with and teach your kids or grandkids essential human skills. We’d love to hear your forgotten resources!
One of my tips is here!
7. Gratitude for what you have, rather than what you are missing. My recent trip to India reminded me that simplicity and family may just well be some of the greatest gifts God has given us. What are the simple things you have access to right now that you have overlooked, have grumbled about, or have even despised? In Numbers 21, it was grumbling and brought the plague of snakes among the Israelites. For the American culture, at least, we have been grossly unthankful for what God has given us.
8. Human connection proves hope. Though social distancing makes us feel disconnected, it’s forcing us to intentionally connect with family, friends, people we may not think of otherwise in our self-absorbed life. Texting, emailing, sending snail mail, calling someone on the phone, or video chatting are life giving to both the giver and the receiver.
9. Repenting for sin. The United States already was comparable to Sodom and Gomorrah before the pandemic hit us. Child trafficking, acceptance of porn, legal drug use, an opioid epidemic, abortion, sexual assault, mass murders, racial prejudice, poverty, general disdain for human life and each other: It seemed life couldn’t get much worse. Then came the pandemic, economic uncertainty, and social isolation.
I wonder if God may be calling His children to repentance.
- repentance for humanity turning away from Him.
- repentance for not caring for the vulnerable.
- repentance for using technology to try to be God.
- repentance for the increase of evils.
- repentance for His church who have embraced idols and religion, rather than a relationship with the person, the Lord Jesus Christ.
- repentance for His church watering down the Word of God, the Bible.
- repentance for discord among the church.
- repentance for other gods and beliefs seeping into the Church (New Age practices, gnosticism, pantheism, witchcraft, occult beliefs and practices, and more).
- repentance for personal sin.
10. Hope in the future. You may look to the future and think, where is hope? It’s so uncertain! Yet, when you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, He is your hope. These are things I look forward to:
His provision in ways I have not seen before because I have not asked. I have honestly not sought Him about basic needs in my life.
Sharing the hope of the gospel with others. The crisis has shown me that Christ truly is our hope in life, and in death.
The hope of eternal life. Whether death comes by COVID 19, natural causes, or a freak accident, I don’t fear death, because eternal life with Christ is better than the greatest joys on this earth. Do you have assurance of eternal life?
The rapture of the Church. We don’t talk about this controversial subject much, but I have hope that Jesus is coming back for those who believe in Him. It may be soon, or not in my lifetime. The Bible clearly predicts times that will be unprecedented, like today, or they could be far off in the future. But hope in Christ is the promise when the world seems to be out of control. Reading the New Testament epistles, Matthew 24-28 chapters, and the book of Revelation gives me hope.
God IS in control. Look up! May we all look at the Risen Christ for life, goodness, and HOPE.
What is your hope today? We’d love to hear!
And how can I pray for you?