Hope For Troubled Times

How many times have you heard the verses found in Romans 8:28?

“And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” Romans 8:28 AMP

What is your usual response to hearing such verses?

Do you respond with a hearty “Amen?”

Do you feel doubt (& possibly shame) at realizing that you are having difficulty believing God’s words?

Do you feel so depressed & overwhelmed that you feel like you are on your own & are struggling with how to believe in God’s words, at all?

I can relate! I must confess that at different times in my life hearing familiar verses like Romans 8:28, have sometimes been taken for granted by me! I know that I have experienced each & everyone of those 3 responses at different points in my journey with Jesus!

In my own struggle with unbelief & fear in the midst of challenging times, I am grateful that God did not condemn me for my fear and lack of belief. Instead He lovingly reminded me of His answered prayers, love & compassion in the past.

Unfortunately there’s no “gift card of faith” that we can load up & cash in, when we need it in order to somehow magically alleviate our angst during the current crisis! Nor can we assume that our latest challenges will easily abate.

Nope, we cannot rest in our past victories! We can rest though, in our Victor, Jesus!

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 NIV

During our current pandemic crisis, many in our world today are looking for something (or someone) to lean on! These are very troubled times & we need to rely on our faith in God, rather than on our own strength to carry us through! This current crisis is simply far too much for us to handle on our own! Honestly, that’s a good thing! God delights in our reliance on Him!

As the Christian Community worldwide, we have been tasked with holding up the signposts of deliverance, victory & faith in Jesus Christ to those all around us who are feeling scared and lost. Our words, actions & deeds, spell out to the world who our Deliverer is! What an amazing opportunity! What a sobering responsibility!

The author C. S. Lewis often wrote about how the crisis that we face were a tool that was useful for our own personal spiritual growth. He talks about how in troubled times we can come to recognize our own limitations & are then compelled to reach out to our Creator.

“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Right now, we have an opportune time to show compassion, combat despair & live hope-filled lives in the midst of many around us, who are consumed by fear & a sense of powerlessness. We know that our God is the one who is “all powerful!” Let’s be the messengers of Hope, for a very troubled world.

May God bless you as you share His love to those all around you!

“When pain is to be born, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all.”
C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ms. Julianne (Jewels) Cressman

TWU ‘78-‘80

Major: Psychology & Music


I am single and I am currently living in the Greater Vancouver Area.  Although I am retired, I don’t have trouble finding things to do!  I currently spend some of my time advocating on behalf of disabled adults and seniors, in the Tri-Cities area.   

I love to cook & entertain, and I also enjoy sewing and doing interior design projects.   I co-ordinate the volunteers for the nursery at my local church, and I enjoy being part of a weekly bible study. 

Prior to retiring, I spent my time volunteering as a Lay Hospital Chaplain and Counsellor.  I was also a volunteer Counsellor for pregnant teens for 19 years.  I really enjoyed doing that a lot!  

I have also spent time teaching piano and music theory to beginner kids and adults. I had an absolute blast doing that!

I am still doing some volunteer one on one lay counselling, but most of my current lay counselling work is advocacy related, rather than crisis related. 

My plans for the next year include becoming more involved volunteering locally with youth in crisis and also starting to work on writing my first book.  

Stay tuned!  🙂