Focus

It’s been an awful few days. I think we can all agree on that. We might not have been on the spot during the violence, but we felt pain when we saw the events. We might not be suffering in refugee camps or under oppression or in danger of our lives, but we can empathise. So How do we keep on keeping on?

Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy. Keep to the script: whatever you learned and received and heard and saw in me—do it—and the God of peace will walk with you.

Philippians 4:8-9

Does this mean that we turn away and forget about the suffering of our fellow man? I don’t think so. If we have no compassion, no urge to help those who are suffering then we do not reflect the heart of God. He is close to the broken-hearted and so should we be. But Paul’s encouragement in the verse above seems at first glance to say otherwise. Or does it?

I was looking through my old journal and found a phrase that made me think. I’d like to say it is mine, but I suspect it’s a fragment of a sermon I heard.

The best testimony is a life that can’t be explained without talking about God.

Yes, we have to be compassionate, to weep with those who weep, to mourn with those who mourn and we have to be sincere. These aren’t fake tears put on to make a good impression. But, undergirding our lives is the joy and peace that comes from knowing whatever happens God is in control. When we have peace among the wars and rumours of wars, amidst the fear I spoke of yesterday it raises questions that we can only answer by pointing to Him. When we have a deep abiding joy that comes from knowing our Saviour and the hope ahead that raises questions that ultimately lead to Him.

So today while the world is reeling from shock after shock let’s stand firm with our eyes fixed on Him and our hands outstretched to bring peace and healing. Our feet ready to go where He sends us and our tongues ready to speak the words of eternal life.

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