If you’re anything like me, your inbox these days is probably full of emails from businesses, organizations, people you subscribe to, etc., all offering updates, sales, freebies, and encouraging words of hope. The world has drastically changed seemingly overnight, but to those of us who spend a lot of time in the Bible understand that we are to expect difficult times like these. In fact, Jesus says in Luke 21:11 that we will experience great earthquakes, famines (food shortages), pestilences (plagues), fearful sights, and great signs from heaven. One very overlooked part of this scripture is that it’s all plural. Meaning it’s not going to happen once, and the last time may not be the last time.
Jesus goes on in this chapter to describe the horrible things that will happen on earth while He is away, but He leaves us with instructions that give us hope. He says, “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36 NIV Every time I read that I immediately quote that famous line, “so you’re saying there’s a chance!”
Yes! That’s exactly what Jesus is saying! Watch. Pray. Hope. In every situation. Whether it’s navigating our new life of social distancing or managing life through the fierce storms that come every spring, these are the times that God is reminding us that His kingdom is near (verse 31). So while we are to obey the laws and do our best to be safe and keep others safe as well, we should overall be focusing our hope on watching and praying. God has the final word, no matter what we do, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have hope.
This month we’ll be studying hope. As you work through the guide, take a little more time to apply each day’s passage to your life. April won’t be any easier than March, so stay vigilant in the Word, remain in prayer, watch for God’s movement, and never lose hope.
Lastly, I’d like to ask for your prayers. I know many of you already pray for me and I am beyond grateful, but I could use a smidgen extra, please. As a kidney transplant recipient, I don’t have an immune system so I’m at high risk of not being able to recover if I get the virus. While I’m already a pro at social distancing, there are too many unknowns, too many people who don’t take it seriously, and too many things that I can’t control. So while I continue with my good habits and avoiding people, I ask that you create your own good habits and pray for those of us who are most vulnerable.
Thank you for reading, and if you want to spread something, spread the hope and love of Jesus to those who need it, which is everyone!
Enjoy April’s guide!