Surviving or thriving?

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Amid the coronavirus quarantine, you can take action against fear and discouragement.​

Jim Beerley | ICP Mentor


Greetings from prison! Well, maybe not quite, but I think you know exactly how I feel.

This morning I told my wife how thankful I was to have someone I enjoyed being quarantined with. She replied, “Must be nice!”

Ok, I admit I stole that from the internet, but it does raise a question I would like to address: In these present circumstances, how can we not just survive, but thrive?

I’d like to share two principles from Psalm 1 that will enable us to do both.

The first principle is this: Guard your mind. Be careful what you let your mind dwell on.

A number of years ago, I lived in Haiti during a period of prolonged civil unrest. I can still vividly remember the gossip and rumors that swirled around like wildfire. That was tremendously destabilizing, and I will admit there were times I was sucked in.

If Psalm 1 was written today, it might sound like this:

Blessed is the man who does not

walk in the counsel of the fear-mongers,

or stand in the way of the frantic,

or sit in the seat of the furious.

We must not allow our minds to go down that negative progression. Instead, the psalmist urges us to delight in God’s Word and meditate on it. Truth is a lamp to our feet and a light on our path (Psalm 119:105). It allows us to keep moving forward even in times of darkness. The most important truth we find is what we learn about God. He is the Shepherd who walks with us through the Shadowlands.

The second principle is this: Guard your heart. We must remember whom we serve, and why. The word blessed in the psalm, when referring to God’s blessing, is often tied to a commission. Think of it as “divine enablement for a divine commission.”

In Luke 24:45-50, Jesus does three things for his disciples before his ascension.

1. He gives them perspective. He “opened their eyes so they could understand the Scriptures.” He showed them how this all fit into God’s plan.

2. He commissioned them as witnesses, which we also find in Matthew 28 and Acts 1.

3. He blessed them. And while he’s blessing them, he ascends into heaven.

So, the last thing the disciples heard was both the divine commission and promise of divine enablement. And what effect did this have on the disciples? They worshiped, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were praising God continually.

How profound that our God invites us to partner with him in preaching the gospel to the world. There is no greater privilege on earth! And how fitting that today, with so many people fearful of the known and the unknown, we have the Easter message that death and the grave have no power over those in Jesus Christ!

Here’s a suggestion for how to guard both your heart and mind. It’s something I’m doing for myself. Read through the Lord’s Prayer every day, verbatim. Meditate on it. It keeps my mind focused on the One I serve, who is both King and Father, and it reminds me that I don’t need all the answers — just enough sustenance for today.

Let me conclude with two observations I’ve made in the last few weeks.

1. I’m amazed at the stories I hear from all over about the creative ways that Jesus-followers are living, incarnating John 1:14 in all its glory. These examples are so encouraging and challenging. The world is not worthy of you! 

2. How cool is it that we are able to teach our disciples, by example, what it means to be the church without having church! For many of us, working in more traditional contexts, this is a major paradigm shift. Discipleship is loving others in all areas of life, and helping others do the same. What does that look like during a quarantine? Let’s show them!

Thank you for your faithful service. My prayer is that God will continue to give us his peace, his grace, his power, and his love for such a time as this.

Jim BeerleyJim Beerley
graduated from Cairn University in 1981 with a B.S. in Bible, and from Dallas Theological Seminary with an M.A. in Biblical Studies. Growing up in Haiti, Jim began his missionary service there in 1986 working in the Seminaire de Theologie Evangelique de Port-au-Prince (STEP). In 1994, Jim was asked to transfer to the Principality of Monaco to pastor the Monaco Christian Fellowship. Currently, Jim resides in Canada and one of his greatest joys is to bring biblical truth to others. Jim makes his expertise available to you through Missional Impact’s Mentor Network. | Read Jim’s full bio. | Send a question to Jim.  

Photo by Ariel Costillo on Pexels

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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