God’s Perfect Ways - 8 May 2020

By Louise Gevers

I am listening to what the LORD is saying: he promises peace to us, his own people, if we do not go back to our foolish ways. Surely he is ready to save those who honour him, and his saving presence will remain in our land. Love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will embrace. Psalm 85:8-10 GNT

After Jesus had risen, He appeared to His disciples “over a period of forty days” and “spoke to them about the kingdom of God”, (Acts 1:3) each time reinforcing their faith and completing their earlier instruction. By this, He equipped them to be witnesses to His resurrection and His teachings in such a way that, inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit, they would continue His mission to the world.

As the Holy Spirit led them into greater understanding, they went from a state of fear to boldness. Is it not significant that we’ve had thirty-five days – almost forty – of lockdown, in which many of us have had more time than usual to focus on life’s priorities and, especially in these different times, to reflect more on how God is working in our own situations and to know that “with God all things are possible.”? (Matthew 19:26)

Easter has been celebrated behind closed doors, yet we have experienced a new instruction and equipping of His Spirit, and strengthening of the former things by new understanding.  When the lockdown is lifted, revealing another ‘new normal’, we will be far better equipped and empowered to embrace its potential, inspired that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Today’s verse from a psalm, written when God’s people were in distress, is a comforting answer by the Lord through the priest. Are we listening to what the LORD is saying to His people today in our current situation? Perhaps there’s much we can improve when lockdown is lifted for us. It’s something that applies to all time, but very often we don’t assess our situation in the good times; often we take for granted what we have, but when things go wrong, we realise what our true values are and who we can truly trust.

The Finance Minister spoke positively about using this crisis as an opportunity to start afresh, rather than seeing it as a threat. He spoke of using it for the remaking of the South African economy in such a way that it would ensure that the previously unemployed would be employed; new towns with adequate housing for all would be created, and a new national airline started from scratch, instead of trying to revive something that had limitations for many of our population.

Lets go out with new understanding, strengthened and undergirded by the Spirit, to continue Jesus’ mission, not looking back to our old ways, but forging ahead in faith to honour Him through love, knowing that His saving grace will stay in our land, and “righteousness and peace will embrace.”

Prayer: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power, according to his power that is at work within us, to  him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20)