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Hope in this Hour of Trial

If one were to describe the news cyle of the past few weeks, it would be that it is doom and gloom on steroids’. Fear of the invisible, fear of getting too close, fear of going outside, fear of breathing,  fear of touching, fear of work, fear of not working, to fear of fearing fear, has filled the headlines for the past few months as through the news we live and breath the pandemic.

Locked away inside of the same four walls, wondering when and if life will ever get back to normal, it sometimes seems like life has been permanently put on pause. Bombarded day after day with words and images of fear, filled with worry about what bad news tomorrow might bring, and how close to the brink of financial disaster we might come, it is easy to forget the little pleasure that life once held, and to think that sorrow and worry will forevermore be our unenviable lot. To believe that the pandemic has forever wiped away hope and joy from our hearts. Deprived of the warmth of gathering together with our loved ones, of sharing time with our best friends, and the simple comfort of an encouraging hug, it is easy for fear to caste its devastating shadow and take over our weary hearts.

In this hour of unprecedented trial, it is tempting to think that God has left us to suffer on our own. That He has abandoned us to be consumed by the contagion, bankruptcy, hunger, and fear. Yet in His word God promises that

For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Isaiah 41:13

Promising us that no matter what, He is there, holding our hands in the hour of trial, and helping us to safely make it through the hour of trial.

In the book of Psalms He gives us the encouraging promise,

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. Psalms 34:7

telling us that in our time of need, He will send His angel to stand guard over us, and shield us. Protecting us from any needless sorrow or woe. Allowing only the hardships and trials, that with His aid, will remove the dross from our characters and transform us into jewels fit for the heavenly kingdom.

And while it is not easy to endure the refiners purifying touch, we can take comfort in knowing that like Job, there is a hedge about us protecting us from many unseen arrows. And set our hearts firm in the promise that although unseen, as we walk through the treacherous valley of death, we can take courage knowing God is by our side, holding our hand as He promised. And like the Paslmist we can declare

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalms 23:4

And one day soon, when we victoriously come out the other side of this depressing valley, we can fill the heaven’s with God’s praises. Our faith stronger, our hope brighter for the realization that God’s promise is true. And if it is true that He will hold our right hand in our hour of need, then His promise that one day He will come again,

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  John14:1-3

and bring us to live with Him must also be true. And then what joy, what rapturous joy will fill our hearts, as with great longing will look forward to the day when the heaven’s are filled with His glory, and our best friend, our brother in sorrow, and our glorious Redeemer, comes to  rescue us from this world of pain, to bring us home to live with Him in a land where death, sickness, and sorrow are unknown!

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