So How Are You Doing?

When I ask that question these days I often get the response that life stinks. 2020 needs to be over already meaning I want things to be normal again like they used to be. Many of us have trouble dealing with change. We don’t like it. On top of the coronavirus pandemic, there is increased violence and lawlessness in our cities, and we are experiencing an economic meltdown. Never in history has any country, not to mention countries around the world, willingly shut down their economies to a grinding halt.

We are indeed living in “perilous times.” Perilous means “dangerous, hazardous.” Never in our lifetime have we faced anything like COVID-19. Many people live in fear of catching the dreaded virus. COVID-19 has altered our lives, our recreational activities, our workplaces, and how we shop. Washing our hands, always a good practice, is now a civic duty. We now hear words and phrases that we rarely if ever heard before: Coronavirus, pandemic, social distancing, herd immunity, flattening the curve, shelter in place, PPE, and many more.

Many people today have little hope, no longer hoping for the best to happen, they are just hoping that it doesn’t get any worse.

I had my regular physical this past week. I hadn’t been to the doctor’s office in a year and a half. Avoiding the “hot spots” as we all do. The first thing my doctor asked was how I was doing “in these crazy times.” I smiled under my mask and replied, “Excellent. No worries” He seemed surprised. The truth is I am feeling excellent. I am incredibly blessed.

Yes. These times are challenging but every day is a new day in which to excel. There are so many opportunities and blessings waiting for us each day. Thank you, Lord! Each day is a new day. A new opportunity. Yesterday is over. A new day has arrived. I have hope.

Now, the world has its own hope, a special brand of hope, but it isn’t something that anyone can truly base their life and hopes upon, and that’s because it’s more of an illusion than a reality.

The world view places their hope in a political system or party, or worse, a politician, a movie star, or an athlete. But the reality is that each of these will in the end let us down.

Some are worried sick about the upcoming election. Someone told me the other day, “I’m SCARED! If so-and-so (the candidate she isn’t voting for) gets elected, I’m worried that America as we know it will end.” I’m usually not so pessimistic about elections if they don’t go my way because at 70 years old, I remember that in every election, the opposing sides have said that if their opponent is elected, it would spell the end of our country as a democratic republic. Well, the republic is still around. The constitution our forefathers wrote has served well to keep us from going too far too fast in any single direction. We certainly need to pray for our county because we are living in perilous times.

The world also places it’s hope in science and medicine, but as we have seen, scientific facts change, which means we really shouldn’t have placed our hope in them in the first place, and medicine while it can help, we know that our health will eventually fail. We also know that we can’t place our hope in our savings account or our jobs, or upon anyone or anything.

So where are we to get our hope?

This is something that the world has been searching for because of how vital it is to our survival. Dr. Dale Archer (Medical Doctor, board-certified Psychiatrist and Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association) said, “If I could find a way to package and dispense hope, I would have a pill more powerful than any antidepressant on the market. Hope is often the only thing between man and the abyss. As long as a patient, individual or victim has hope, they can recover from anything and everything.”

When we place hope in the world, then our hope is short-lived and will fall short of expectation. Instead, we are put our hope in the Lord God who never changes and who is trustworthy and faithful.

To Timothy the Apostle Paul said, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” 1 Timothy 6:17 

So, what is hope? The word itself comes from the old English word “hopa” and means having a confident assurance in the future. It’s so much more than just a feeling or thinking that something good might happen. It’s not wishful or pie-in-the-sky thinking, like, “The Weight Loss Cure They Don’t Want You to Know About.”

Having hope, however, is a certainty. It’s a belief that sustains us, it holds us up under the most adverse circumstances and it enables us to endure life when all hell is breaking loose around us.

And so, the only place that such hope comes from is from God, and it’s the knowledge that God loves us so much that He was willing to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth to die upon the cross to pay for our sins, so that we can have an abundant life both now and in heaven.

It was for times like these that a song was written many years ago. It was written by Ruth Caye Jones and is titled, “In Times Like These.” She wrote the song at the low point of World War II when it seemed that the allies were bogged down in Italy and other countries and the war was going nowhere. The world economies were at breaking points with rations everywhere.

In times like these you need a Savior,
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

 

This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the One,
This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock
!

 

In times like these you need the Bible,
In times like these, O be not idle;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

 

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He’s the One,
This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock
!

 

In times like these I have a Savior,
In times like these I have an anchor;
I’m very sure, I’m very sure
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

 

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He’s the One,
This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock
!

Why do you need the Savior Jesus Christ? First, because without Jesus, you are a sinner, guilty before a righteous God. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” You fall short of God’s standard of holiness. You are a sinner and God cannot allow sin in His presence.

Thank God, a Savior has been provided to save us from our sins. Jesus Christ came to earth and lived a sinless life and then died on the cross for our sins. And the Bible says, over and over again, that if you will turn from sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, God would forgive you your sin, and be your Savior.

The next phrase in the song says, “In times like these you need an anchor.” A ship’s anchor makes it steady and secure, even when the winds are howling around it and the waves are high and rough. In times of trouble and trial, where in this perilous world can we find security?

If you think about it, everything in this world is insecure. You may think you have “Social Security” but I wouldn’t put all my eggs in that basket. You may think you have a secure job, but one accident could leave you jobless. You may think your health is secure, but tomorrow you could down with COVID-19 and you could be one of the unfortunate ones with long-term effects.

The truth of the matter is that in this perilous world, nothing is secure. But in Jesus, you can have security. You have the security of Jesus’s presence forever.

He said in Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” If Jesus is your Savior, you have the security of knowing that Jesus is with you to help and guide you no matter where you go or what trials you go through. Romans 8:38-39 – “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The greatest security you can have in all the world is to know that no matter what goes on in this world, no matter who is the president in January 2021, no matter if the economy sinks or has a V-shaped recovery, and even if our country becomes a socialist state, no one and nothing can ever separate you from the love of God.

In times like these, Jesus offers security for our hearts and we can find comfort and joy in Christ if we would just block out all the bad news, and turn off the TV for a little while and refocus on Jesus and spend time in prayer and Scripture.

God help us, in these perilous times not to lose heart; not to become discouraged; not to be gloomy; not to be fearful; not to be idle, lazy, or apathetic. Each passing day seems to bring greater peril. However, each passing day also provides us greater opportunities for service and brings us one day closer to the coming of the Lord.

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