By Pastor Raymond Wicks | November 11, 2020
2020 has not turned out like most people had envisioned, and more could happen in the next two months. At the time of this writing, the election results are not yet certified. Covid-19 is still a real issue. Some folks are trying to uniquely navigate Thanksgiving and Christmas. Many are dealing with the other typical November and December issues like weather, health, relationships, and finances. With all these situations, please allow me to share “Two tips for the next two months.”
I have compassion on those who have suffered terribly this year. For one man I know, this has been the worst year of his life. My heart goes out to him. So, what does a pastor say? I’m so sorry? God cares? All things work together for good? Yes, these statements are true. It is also true that most of us will get through our difficulties if we can just endure.
To endure means to hold up, to not turn back or flee, to preserve or sustain, to get to the other side. God constantly reminds us in His Word to press on. Get through tough times. Many great Bible stories point this out, especially the story of Job.
James 5:11, “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”
The Lord is merciful and full of pity towards His people. There is an end coming, and God knows when the end will be. We should not declare it until God does. Until then, we must endure; there may be no other choice. With some aspects of life, we need to simply bear patiently and endure.
Thankfully, every morning starts a new day of hope and mercy. Even when problems are self-incurred, they are often temporary. Just go forward one more day.
Lamentations 3:22-23, “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
Psalm 30:5, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
2 Timothy 2:3, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
Success should be measured by tenacity over talent. Understand, we have been equipped by God to handle far more than we ever thought possible. Get through one more day. Do right one more day. Love one more day. Live one more day. The truth is, sometimes we just endure. If you endure, you will get through 2020.
While we may truly have to endure some parts of life, we should really try to enjoy the rest! God knows how easy it is for man to go into pity party mode. So, He had Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, remind us to enjoy life.
Ecclesiastes 2:24, “There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.”
Ecclesiastes 3:13, “And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.”
The New Testament echoes the emphasis on enjoyment.
1 Timothy 6:17, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;”
These things include people, places, purpose, and more. Thanksgiving reminds us to count our blessings. A little girl in our church is doing the November thankfulness challenge. So far, her list includes thankfulness for hugs, toes, kisses, and fingers! Maybe we should take inventory too!
Also, take inventory of the special people in your life including family, friends, neighbors, co-workers as well as our relationship with God. Wow! We are really blessed! Don’t let your blessings be just a list. Let them be constant sources of enjoyment.
God reminds us to rejoice. Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”
We may look back on 2020 as the most challenging and interesting year of our lives. Make some memories. We will never have a redo of the next two months. So, my two tips for the next two months are…endure and enjoy!