How to fill our days with purpose is the question so many are asking themselves today in the midst of the worst health crisis the world has seen in our lifetime. Perhaps the question is even more profound for those of us who know Jesus. We know there is an answer to fear. We sense God is on the move in this and we may be asking how am I to respond and what is my role?
A friend of mine suggested that role is to bring hope and comfort to others. I agree. However in order to bring hope and peace to others we must first secure it in ourselves. So we look to Jesus.
John 14:27 New International Version (NIV)
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Jesus promised us His peace and in Psalm 91 we find a means of entering into it by dwelling in Him.
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Here we are encouraged to make our home in His presence. We find rest as we remember who He is, the Most High God, mighty in power, creator and ruler of the world. We are placing our trust in a God we know as father. He has made a covenant with us to protect and care for us as a loving papa. He left us promises and the Holy Spirit to remind us of those promises. He is the good shepherd.
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
A shepherd watches over his sheep and takes them to a place where they can rest and be refreshed. He leads them safely through dangerous terrain and gives them comfort so that fear does not scatter them.
A good shepherd guides. My daughter Jessica shared with me that she and Kevin spent time early this week praying over their roles and goals during this time. What did God want for them to learn and to do? Of course I always want to copy a good idea so I began to ask the same question. In doing that I realized that this is a vital activity for all of us. God created us to have purpose. In each season that purpose takes on a different flavor.
I believe my most pressing goal today is to secure my own peace by spending more time with the Lord in the word and personal prayer. I need to increase my faith by hearing the word, so listening to teachers I respect is vital as well as self preaching, declaring the word out loud to myself.
This week God has been urging me to pray and intercede for specific people as well as for our community, country and world.
I may not feel worthy of such a call yet this word in Hebrews gives me confidence.
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f]Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Holding firmly to our faith, recognizing that Jesus understands that it can be weak but still invites us not to be ashamed but to approach His throne of grace with confidence and in doing so we will find mercy and grace to help us in this time as well as obtaining direction as to how to pray not only for those we know but for our land as well.
We have the promise:
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
When I focus on what purpose God has for me right now fear tends to take a back seat. I am busy. I have my marching orders and I no longer feel helpless or aimless, I am part of the solution. So today we pray. We pray on the foundation of who God is, who we are in Christ. We pray with confidence and purpose. We pray with expectation.