GOD MAKES A WAY
Ben: God has now led us to expand our capabilities for connection and relationship. Though we cannot travel, I am still coordinating several alignment efforts for the Tikkun Global Family. We host international and Israeli leaders together to build relationship, to foster greater unity, to pray about God’s purposes in these days, and to discuss topics of critical importance for the body. Just after the restrictions were put in place, we were scheduled to host about 100 leaders from all over the world, here in Israel. Instead, we hosted a meeting via Zoom with a smaller number of these key leaders to regroup and to focus on what God would lead us to do in the coming months. We are now planning to host a larger gathering of leaders at the beginning of May.
As you know, I am one of the elders for a local, Hebrew speaking congregation in Jerusalem. We have explored creative ways to continue to reach out to the community. Though my pastor and many of my Messianic leader friends have been live-streaming their services from their homes, we felt that it was important to try to connect with them face-to-face. So, we have hosted a Zoom service in real time. For the last three weeks now, we have had over 100 congregants connected online for worship, prayer, testimony and encouragement. It has been a tremendous joy to see each other and to hear from one another.
Though we hope this season of isolation comes to a close quickly, we are thankful for the technologies that enable us to maintain relationships and foster times of prayer together. I pray that each of you are established in peace through our Messiah Yeshua and that this season will lead you to deeper intimacy and reliance upon our Heavenly Father.
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THIS SEASON
This past month has stretched most of us beyond expectations, and there may not be a return to “normal” life for quite some time. But walking outside within the required 100 meters from my home, I was struck by the beauty of the Spring that has burst up around us. It is such a contrast to the tragic and uncertain news that we are faced with every day because of the Covid-19 virus. As these quarantine regulations drag on and we are faced with hardships, there is a real temptation to fall into fear and anxiety.
One of the schemes of the enemy is to get us to focus on all the negative things that are happening and to imagine all the things that could go wrong — wrong for the world, wrong for our family and loved ones, and wrong for us. Some have labeled this as “catastrophizing” which is obsessing about and imagining the worst result. We are waiting for catastrophes to happen.
It is not that we don’t recognize the facts. We do. And we also don’t want to minimize our compassion for what others are going through. But even scientists have proven that when we focus on these things, it leads to an increasing cycle of negativity, hopelessness, sadness, and anxiety.
Philippians 4:8 says: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any virtue and if there is anything worthy of praise—dwell on these things.
When we place our primary thoughts on God and His goodness, our relationships, and our daily provision, we can then be thankful for, and appreciate, the beauty all around us. It transforms our emotions from fear to hope. Paul follows these statements by saying that he has learned how to be content in every circumstance. It is not that Paul didn’t recognize that he experienced times of plenty and times where he didn’t have much. But he was able to turn his thoughts to the things he was thankful for — even for being able to suffer in identity with Yeshua!
Many of you have already experienced that there are many positive things to this quarantine. It has:
- helped to reset from the busy pace of life
- provided opportunity to spend more time with family
- refocused your prayer life and intimate relationship with God
- found creative ways to connect with people in the community
So, let us be purposeful in thinking about all the things for which we can thank God in this season. It will also help you to be a source of hope and encouragement to those around you.