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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Apostle Paul writes to the faithful Christians in Philippi and gives to them these words of hope and encouragement, “My God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever.  Amen.” (Philippians 4)

How appropriate those words are for us today as we live in the midst of so much uncertainty.  Often the message from the news media fills us with fear and grave apprehension about the state of our nation and world.  It is easy to become filled with a sense of utter despair as we look to our future and to the future of our children.  Almighty God gives us His Holy Word which bears life-changing testimony to the fact that in the mist of economic ups and down, health struggles, challenges to the family unit, and the battles of aging; “Jesus Christ remains the same yesterday, today, and forevermore.” (Hebrews 13:8) Throughout the Bible, God’s people have faced challenging times and uncertain futures. God raised up the prophet Jeremiah to address God’s people in the midst of one such time. The nation of Judah had been conquered by the pagan ruler Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians.  Families were torn apart, the city of Jerusalem was in ruins, and the very temple of God has been looted and destroyed. The people had their very existence torn from them as they were led away as slaves never to see Jerusalem again. In fact, Lamentations is Jeremiah’s observation of the suffering, pain and helplessness of God’s people at this moment in their existence.  However, Jeremiah is called by God to speak a message of hope and of the compassion of God for His precious people. Jeremiah says, “God will turn their mourning into joy, God will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.” (Jer. 31) 

Hope, comfort, compassion, and the grace of God for His precious people are His healing gifts to each of us; even today!  Paul affirms to us that God supplies our needs.  The Apostle John writes, “We know and believe the love God has for us.  God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him…There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. “(1 John 4)  As the redeemed people of God, let us take hold of His precious promises and gifts to each of us (the body of Christ).  As God has led, provided for and comforted His people throughout the ages; so too in our time God shall abundantly supply for the needs of His people. The writer of Hebrews implores us, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”(Heb. 4)

The Apostle Peter says to us today, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, establish, and strengthen you. To Him be the dominion for ever and ever.  Amen. (1 Peter 5)

May God continue to supply all your needs in Christ Jesus,

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Michael McFarland

 

pastormcfarland@elcsmail.org