Hello GRC and friends!
In my personal worship – personal time in the Bible and in prayer – the Psalms have never been more rich, more meaningful and relevant, more needed, than now! Over the years, I’ve sometimes wondered whether David and the other Psalm-writers were too paranoid about enemies and death/destruction. Or whether their sense that God was distant/absent was a sign of weak faith. But these days, the thoughts and emotions of the Psalms feel very much on point!
In my Bible-reading plan this week, I meditated on Psalm 39. Verses 4-7 struck me as especially relevant:
“Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be. “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.”
The fragility of our lives – and therefore our mortality – has not really changed with this virus. It’s the unknown, the invisibility, the possibility of premature death that has made all of us a little more aware of what WILL come eventually to all. Does this prompt you God-ward? To realize that your life is “but a breath”? Do you see the vanity/emptiness of rushing about, heaping up wealth “without knowing whose it will finally be”? And to what/whom do you look for hope?
- If not now, then when will you get serious about your faith, putting aside trivialities and digging deep in Word and prayer? Investing in eternity? Thinking deeply about eternal/spiritual realities, cultivating deeper faith in Christ as your Lord and Savior? Two easy contexts for spiritual encouragement are listed in Events on our website. Many of you join us regularly – consider spreading the word so others can benefit too:
- Kingdom Prayer is three times a week: Sun/Mon/Thurs, 8-8:30pm)
- Morning devotionals is three times a week: Mon/Wed/Fri, 7-7:30am). We’re in the Psalms!
- This Easter season (Resurrection Day is only 10 days away!) may very well be the greatest outreach opportunity of our lifetimes. When else has virtually the entire global population’s thoughts been oriented around the same enemy producing the same fear? When else has the world’s false-foundations of money, power, status, health, future security, been so shaken to the core? Pray now about who to invite to join you for Easter worship via our live-stream. Our staff team will distribute a digital invite card that you can share via social media or by direct email/text to your circles. Trust that they may be more open than ever to “coming to church” to hear a message of Gospel hope that cannot be taken away!
For friends/family of GRC who don’t yet believe:
- Your hope cannot be in a vaccine. The next unseen enemy will come. Your hope cannot be in financial security. If not a virus, then another trigger for global recession. Or a housing collapse. Or a financial market meltdown. Or sudden cancer striking you or your loved one. Or relational breakdown leading to divorce.
- Turn to Christ. Consider the old-promises of God that are still being kept, because He loves eternally, not just for the 75+ years we’re on this earth. And He has demonstrated that love through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. Join us next Friday at 4:30pm: the worst of all days, but called Good Friday because of what happened on Sunday – Resurrection! Bookmark this page for that special service as well as each Sunday at 11:15am.
On that first Easter morning, the disciples of Jesus were huddled in their homes, doors locked, filled with fear, wondering “What now?” But in that time of darkest night, light dawned! New hope-in-life broke out in the midst of despair, dispelling the darkness! Fear was cast aside, because death had been defeated. As David wrote and sung: “In God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56:11). Since resurrection is real, what can a virus ultimately do to me?
Trusting in Gospel hope,
Peter Wang is the senior pastor.