For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation… Romans 1:16

By Desiree Maes

It is so easy in today’s world to become discouraged.  Just flip on the news, our world is a hot mess. Shootings, child murder, war, poverty, corruption, hunger, disease, violence, so many are hurting. Some days the darkness is just downright overwhelming, makes me want to move to the wilderness with my family, barricade ourselves in a cave and pray Jesus comes back soon.  But then I am reminded of what the apostle Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5″16-18

Always be joyful.  Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

How can we be thankful in ALL circumstances?  It seems impossible.  But like Jesus said to his disciples after talking to the rich young ruler, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19:26

This joy is not possible by our own efforts but is a supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit.  What a wonderful gift!  I don’t know about you, but I am relieved that I don’t have to muster up the strength to “put on a happy face” while the world around us is falling apart.  My pride wants to lash back at the world or hunker down in despair, but because of the Holy Spirit, I can have a true, sincere, and abundant joy, even in the worst of circumstances.  It’s His joy that is our strength.  Not our own. Thankfully.

So don’t be discouraged Sisters and Brothers!  The world is dark and some days seems hopeless, but we know how this story ends don’t we?  We know who wins.  I remember watching the movie “Titanic” and although I loved the story of Rose and Jack I had a pit in my 15 year old stomach the entire time I was watching it because I knew what was coming… this is the opposite!   We can be certain that the Kingdom of God will over come! So we don’t have to be afraid and in fact we can celebrate, because the victory is already His.  In the meantime, we have to remember that this a rescue mission friends, and we know that without Jesus as our life raft, no one gets off of this sinking ship alive.  So while we are here, what are we called to do?  Not to go hide in a cave but to GO and share the good news of Jesus and be joyful about it!  We have the best news anyone could ever hear.  Lord help us to remember that often and keep it fresh in our minds and hearts daily.

So in the midst of all this darkness, let’s remind each other that we are called to be the light of the world. Today, by the grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit, let’s do just that and shine the marvelous light of Jesus.

In Christ,

Matthew 5:13-16
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.