By Doug Tollerud, Lt. Colonel–
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
It has been said that the world is in unprecedented times when it comes to the coronavirus and all that is taking place. Many of us find ourselves tirelessly working long hours to meet the needs in our communities. But as followers of Christ are these unprecedented times? As we open God’s Word, we see throughout history there have been times of trouble and uncertainty. God speaks to each one of us to trust in him, whatever circumstances we are facing in life.
Today, I think of events that God’s children have faced in the last 100 years that were considered unprecedented in their times. The seemingly endless conflicts and wars—millions killed, the Holocaust with the extermination of a whole group of people, the Atom bomb with total annihilation, the Iron Curtain that divided families, the World Trade Center and terrorism—and countless other acts of violence in our communities around our world. Unprecedented, it seems like these events keep coming.
Where do we find our hope and our confidence today? In our relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the living Word.
It has been more than 50 years since I surrendered my life to Jesus and learned to trust in him. Yes, there have been difficulties and challenges and God has walked with me and continues to walk with me in wonderful ways.
My wife Sherry and I have been married for more than 42 years. We have enjoyed being officers in The Salvation Army for over 37 years. We have been blessed with three sons, two daughters-in-law, and five, soon to be six grandchildren. And I know there is more to come as we continue to follow and obey him for the rest of our lives.
In Proverbs 3: 5-6 there is a familiar passage that is often shared during times of trouble, but it really is instruction for everyday life. It says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” To really understand what is says we must start at verse one.
In the New Living Translation, chapter three starts out this way: “My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart, for they will give you a long and satisfying life. Never let loyalty and kindness get away from you! Wear them like a necklace; write them deep in your heart. Then you will find favor with God and people, and you will gain a good reputation.”
This is the key to living a happy and content life. Do not forget what God is teaching us through his Word. Jesus reminds us in Matthew 37-38, “To love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and to “love your neighbor as yourself.” If we do that, we will find favor with God and have a good reputation with others whom we have loved as ourselves.
We can maintain these relationships through the years if we listen to David in Psalm 119:11 as he cries out to God, “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.” And Jesus as he shares with his disciples in John 14:15, “if you love me obey my commands.”
Today, we need to trust in the Lord and in him alone. We need to seek his wisdom and his wisdom alone. There really is not any room for the world’s wisdom, especially when it is contrary to the teachings of Scripture. Our only hope for the present day is our steadfastness in Christ, in the Word of God.
In John 3:16 we read, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We can’t stop there for Scripture goes on to say that eternal life involves believing and trusting in Jesus.
A prayer for you today:
“Our Father, we believe in your son, Jesus, ‘the word who became flesh and lived among us.’ Your son, who taught us how to live and love one another, in a sacrificial way. Your son, who by his death gave us life eternal. Help us, oh Lord, to live our lives pleasing to you. And we pray this in the holy name of Jesus. Amen.”
- Pick a Scripture study to follow this week and read one part each day for the next four days. On the fifth day, send it to someone you think would also benefit from it.
- See how you can get involved in the Fight for Good at westernusa.salvationarmy.org.
- Did you know The Salvation Army served more than 23 million Americans last year fighting hunger, homelessness, substance abuse and more—all in a fight for good? Where can you help? Take our quiz to find your cause and learn how you can join in today.