March 2020 Newsletter

COVID-19, A Taste of What’s to Come.

The Coronavirus has upended our lives, kept us indoors, and brought about a time that most of us have never expected. In my home state of Maryland, the governor has issued an order for Maryland residents to stay home or face the possibility of a fine of $50,000 or a one year jail sentence. This, of course, is in effort to curb the spread of the virus—a virus that is fairly mild compared to the pestilences that the world has see in days gone by.

This virus should be huge wake-up call for all of us. Even in our technologically advanced age of science and medicine, a virus has emerged that, as of today, has no cure and limited treatment options. It has shown that we are much more vulnerable that we thought. If the virus were of a deadly sort, the loss of life would be catastrophic. 

As much as people don’t like to talk about it or think about it, the Bible clearly marks the end of times with worsening situations upon the earth. I often hear preachers and pastors using slogans like, “the best is yet to come.” This is true in an ultimate sense, because our hope is in heaven. But if it is meant in the sense that life on earth is going to get better, then it is wrong. 

In every place that we look in the scriptures, we see that as the end times approaches, life on earth will become increasingly worse. Paul said that evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse, and that ‘perilous times’ would come. Jesus said that there would be earthquakes and famines and pestilences in various places. The earth will increasingly ‘groan’ as in birth pains as it prepares to bring forth the new creation that is to come. 

We need to be ready.

The best truly is yet to come, but many people will miss out if they fall to the hardships and seductions which are upon us. 

There are two ways that we can respond to times like these. In the book of Revelation, when a much worse plague came upon the people, instead of turning to God in sorrow and repentance, they cursed Him (Revelation 16:9,21). The common human response in troubled times is, “Why did God allow this to happen”— as if we were perfect beings and God were responsible for keeping us fat and happy.  However, instead of blaming God, we ought to look to ourselves. We should examine and purify ourselves and recognize that we are called to endure hardship as a good solider of Jesus Christ. 

‘The worst is yet to come’ is also a true statement. Daniel 12:1 says that a day of trouble will come upon the whole earth that is much worse that anything we have ever seen. This is precisely why we must be ready. When hardships become worse than COVID-19, will we stand? or will we take the advice of Job’s wife, to curse God and die? Many, who have not prepared themselves, will take the latter path. The Bible emphatically says so:

“The Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith…” – 1 Timothy 4:1

Instead of denying these things, like some do, we should take the biblical advice of the apostle Paul: “Do not be haughty, but fear…” and of the apostle Peter to “conduct the time of our stay here in fear.” We should not think it strange concerning the fiery trials which are to come, but ‘rejoice in our sufferings,’ ‘for the end of all things is at hand.’ And we should ever keep in mind the words or our Lord: “He who endures to the end shall be saved.” 

(See my blog on the Fear of God)

Encouragement in Troubled Times

Yet with all the warnings and judgments throughout the scripture, God does not leave us without help! Not only has He given us His eternal words, and brothers and sisters to help and encourage and challenge us, but He has also given us the One He calls COMFORTER. 

Even in the darkest times, and in the loneliest places, even in the midst of lack and shortage, even in the midst of doubt and discouragement, God has promised that He would never leave us or forsake us! Even if our mother or father were to cast us away, even if our close friend were to betray us with a kiss, God is faithful to be an ‘ever present help in times of trouble.’ Just as the psalmist looked to the hills in anticipation of the help that would crest that mound, so we can look to God who will surely come to our rescue. He will not suffer the righteous to hunger, nor his children to beg for bread. When we call He will mount up on the wings of a cherub. He will fly on the wings of the wind, with smoke in His nostrils and fire coming from his month. He will bow the heavens and come down at our cry, because He cares for us.

We truly have a wonderful God!

Let us put our hope in Him. He will not disappoint us. 

Please Pray with Us! 

March has been a particular challenge to us in many ways. I want to ask that you please consider us in prayer. 

Please pray for these things:

  • Direction in Ministry
  • Wisdom in family decisions
  • Encouragement and strength

Also, I know that many of you may be facing financial hardships at this time. If you are unable to give during this time, we completely understand. However, if you are able to give, and would like to contribute during this difficult time, we are grateful. 

Visit halchaffee.com/partnergive to give online.