Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.— Lamentations 3:22–23
This pandemic strikes fear and concern even in the hearts of mature believers. Let’s turn to God’s Word for comfort. The book of Lamentations was penned by Jeremiah (a.k.a. the weeping prophet). He wrote this book to teach people that to disobey God is to invite disaster. Jeremiah also shows us God suffers when we suffer.
As we dust off this Old Testament verse, we find Jeremiah sitting in a cave weeping as he looks over the rubble of a destroyed Jerusalem. A city he loved so much — God’s city — was in ruins. The tang of smoke and the stench of rotting flesh intensified the atmosphere of utter hopelessness. Some of you may be feeling the same way as Jeremiah… but read on… there is hope.
As Jeremiah took in this awful sight, he realized just how big our God really is. Jeremiah reminds us that having faith in our Heavenly Father is the only thing that can cast out fear and despair. The prophet assures us that God’s compassion will never cease. God is present with us always and we can count on Him no matter the circumstances.
What a powerful illustration for us to ponder today during one of the most serious global crises we have seen in a long time. The unprecedented response, while necessary, is causing intense fear and insecurity. In this country, not since 9/11 have we seen such anxiety and confusion. The obvious question that comes up at times like this is, what is God doing?
During the weeks and months following 9/11, masses of people flocked to local churches and places of worship looking for answers. Church attendance soared. But now we are being asked to stay home… to hunker down maybe until July and beyond. Both our sons are worship pastors in mega-churches, and they are now just doing video broadcasts with no audience. Our approach to worship and spiritual growth is changing. What can we do?
I would prayerfully ask you to consider the following:
- Pray for our country that God would heal our land and guide our leaders (Proverbs 25:13).
- Using social media, phones, or texting reach out to family, friends, and neighbors to comfort them with God’s promises. (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
- To the degree you are able, physically assist people who may be older and high risk with their basic needs (Galatians 4:13–14).
- Become a Jeremiah man/woman and consider how your prayers and words can bring about, peace, hope and spiritual focus to others (Mark 5:35–36).
- Drop off some packaged cookies, comfort food, or notes of encouragement to the patio or front porch of your first responders and medical professionals. You should not enter their workspace. (Hebrews 3:13).
- Operate like the First Century Church – small groups meeting through social media for fellowship and spiritual support (Act 20:7).
- Join in pushing this email and the Pandemic of Prayer idea to your database (Matthew 4:23).
- Utilize our vast library of on-line personal and church resources to encourage and empower you during these troubled times (mensministrycatalyst.org/resources).
- Go to (mensministrycatalyst.org/devotional-archives/) to send out any of our 460 devotionals to comfort those around you (John 14).
- Our ministry stands ready to encourage and support anyone wishing for special prayer, comfort, and some resources to help you through these troubling times. God is our refuge and our fortress (Psalm 91).
God bless you!
Pandemic of Prayer
As an indication of your commitment to pray for this Country and your neighbors, place a Cross in your front yard. If you are Jewish, place a Hebrew Star. Any homemade or manufactured Cross or Star will do. We all have scrap materials or can go to a place like Home Depot and get some wood or metal to make a simple symbol. If don’t have any wood or metal, then tie a “white ribbon” around a tree. Send an email to your neighbors indicating that your cross or star is an indication that you are praying for them and their families.
This devotional is a guest post by Dr. Jim Grassi. He is the founder of Men’s Ministry Catalyst, a ministry partner of Promise Keepers. Don’t miss the resources on the topic of fear over at his website.