by Joy Casey

Greetings!  I suspect if you are like me you are gravitating to the internet more and more to feel connected during this time of quarantine.  Devoting more time to virtual friendships along with the constant bombardment of Covid-19 (bad) news, I have allowed a heaviness to creep into my spirit.  Malaise has permeated my quiet time with God.  Scripturally I know I am to lay burdens at His feet and leave them there.  I know He is all-powerful, all-wise, all-knowing, so why do I feel the world is spinning out of control? My prayers for big ticket items like countries, politics, economies, the Church, pandemics and whole people groups are too much.  Instead of leaving the problems with the Creator of the universe, I’ll help Him out by carrying some of the burden.  Isn’t that absurd?  He did not design me to do that!  I know it is ridiculousness in the extreme, but I have been weighed down doing just that.

Jesus confronted me with His words in Luke 6:46, “So why do you keep calling Me Lord when you don’t do what I say?”

I was also challenged by my pastor with two questions:  1) What belief about Jesus needs to be stronger in my life, and 2) What disconnect between my beliefs and actions do I need to work on?  Wringing my hands or apathy in prayer demonstrates my lack of trust in Who Jesus is.  It undermines His character and starkly points out my unbelief.  Jesus asked in Luke 18:8 if He would find faith in the earth when He returns.  Faith is God’s gift to us (1 Corinthians 12:9).  Trusting Him is our response to that gift.

As Christ-followers, how are we to respond in our hearts and minds?  Psalm 31:24 tells us to “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord!”  Hope is the joyful anticipation of God’s goodness.  Hope is a living being named Jesus. We are to put all of our hope in Him alone.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13)!  The world needs hope right now!  I need hope right now!  Let’s own hope by anchoring it in Christ alone and by sharing the hope that we profess with the watching, weary world!

We will be posting some ways you can be praying for our ministry in Ethiopia tomorrow.  Leave a comment if there are any specific ways our staff in the U.S. can be praying for you.