“I almost lost my faith. But you were sent by God to save us”—are the words of an elderly Jewish man spoken to another Jew, Tuvia Bielski, in the forests of Poland in the early 1940s. Tuvia Bielski was one of four Jewish brothers living in Poland. When their town became a Jewish ghetto under the Nazis in 1941, and their parents were put to death, the Bielski brothers fled to the forests for safety—as did many other neighboring Jews. When the Soviets regained control of the area, 1,200 refugees marched out of the forest to freedom. They were able to find safety in the midst of chaos.
Chaos in our lives is never welcome, but it can be purposeful. It can release within us a determination to overcome—to decide that the circumstances are not going to control us. We do not have to withdraw, submit, give in, and give up to those forces that seek to steal our purpose and joy in life. We can look inside our heart to see what God is teaching us and ask what He would have us do to bring peace to the situation.
If you are a child of God, your calling in Christ is bigger than the chaotic upheavals in this world. As Christians, we are not called to experience the abundant life only in times of peace and calm (John 10:10). We are called to experience it in every situation life throws at us—including times of chaos, unrest, upheaval, and turmoil.
The call of God on our life is bigger than the circumstances of any given day, week, month, or year of our life. We are called to it all! Why? Because, just as Jesus’ character was revealed through His chaotic last days on earth through His persecution and crucifixion, so ours will be as we triumph over the personal challenges we face in life. In the midst of your turmoil, ask God what He wants to reveal in and through you—see what God would have you do.
The Challenge of Chaotic Times
The needs are obvious: People are discouraged, despairing, and without hope or direction right now. And you are the one God wants to use to provide that help. If you know Jesus Christ, He lives in you with the same power that raised Him from the dead (Romans 8:11). He has given you one or more spiritual gifts and the power to use them (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).
So—what can you do for God and for others in the chaotic times in which we live?
• You can be a source of life. Many today have no hope for the future. They do not know that Jesus Christ is the “way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). You can be a source of eternal life to them and meet their greatest need by introducing them to the Savior.
•You can be a source of light. Psalm 119:105 says that God’s Word is “a lamp to [our] feet and a light to [our] path.” You can be a teacher, an encourager, or an exhorter by giving practical, biblical direction to others that will provide light to their situation.
• You can be a source of love. People in our day need faith and hope. But even more than that, they need love most of all (1 Corinthians 13:13). The Holy Spirit may show you that a discouraged friend simply needs your loving presence and understanding, or perhaps a plate of cookies, a hot meal, or a box of groceries. Seek ways to show love to others—people are lonely and hurting—so find ways to let them know that they are loved.
• You can be a source of liberation. Jesus said He came to “proclaim liberty to the captives” (Luke 4:18). Many people today feel imprisoned by their circumstances. God wants you to tell them that they can be “free indeed” (John 8:36) from the spiritual and emotional chains that bind their spirits.
• You can be a source of laughter. Invite a neighbor, friend, or family member who is struggling to spend an evening in your home, or if that isn’t possible due to current restrictions reach out through Facetime, Zoom, or some other format to allow them to see a smiling face. Share stories and memories, and thank God for the blessing of friendship and family during these difficult times.
Look at the situation around you today and ask, “What can I do to make it better?” If you accept the challenge and you do what you can for God and others during these challenging times, you may hear someone say to you what a grateful Jew said to Tuvia Bielski: “I almost lost my faith. But you were sent by God to save us.”
Dr. Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California.
For more information on Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org.
The renowned Oxford English Dictionary contains over 171,476 words with more words added every few months—words that are in current, active use by English speakers.
When it comes to the words we speak, which ones do we choose from this huge reservoir of choices? Which combinations of words will bring the most help, hope, and healing to those in need? To answer that question, let’s begin with the words God uses to bring encouragement to us. Let His words be the foundation for building your own vocabulary of words that really help.
True hope and healing are found in God’s Word. And when we fill our mind with Scripture through regular reading and memorization, we build a solid structure from which to encourage others. God’s promises become our first response to those in need of hopeful, healing words.
The Take-Home Dilemma
Helen Palit, a silver-haired activist, founded the non-profit City Harvest in New York City. And over 2,500 donors willingly give mountains of leftover food that the organization distributes to those in need throughout the five boroughs of New York City. City Harvest has collected and distributed over 700 million pounds of food since it was founded in December 1982.
Some people can put a negative spin on the best of news. Sadly, even some Christians make a habit of this. What does God think of such pessimism? Today, Dr. David Jeremiah shares what happens when a messenger greets good news with a doom-and-gloom attitude.All Sermons by Dr. David Jeremiah