March 22, 2020 by

We live in strange times

1 Peter 5:7

ហើយ​ចូរ​ផ្ទេរ​គ្រប់​ទាំង​សេចក្តី​ទុក្ខ​ព្រួយ​របស់​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា​ទៅ​លើ​ទ្រង់ ដ្បិត​ទ្រង់​តែង​យក​ព្រះទ័យ​ទុក​ដាក់​នឹង​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា។

Schools are closed, restaurants are closing, sporting events have been canceled, large assemblies are forbidden, and we’ve all learned about “social distancing,” which means you stay away from me, and I’ll stay away from you. Some counties like our county here are under a “shelter in place” order, which means you stay home round the clock, with only a few specified exceptions.

All because of a tiny microbe that is incredibly contagious and extremely dangerous, especially to those over 60 and those with compromised immune systems. Since I fit into that first category (I’m closer to 70 than to 60), I’ve tried to follow the rules. I’ve started washing my hands all the time. My wife and I take hand sanitizer with us when we go out, which isn’t very often. And when we withdraw money from bank we wrapped in Clorox wipes and wash when we are home.

Such is life for all of us right now. No one knows when things will get better. This may last a few weeks, or it may last a few months. It could last even longer.

We are living with a level of anxiety we haven’t seen for a long time. People worry about their health and the health of their loved ones. We’re worried about losing our jobs and our income. We feel trapped by events we can’t control.

No wonder people are hoarding toilet paper. No wonder we can’t sleep. No wonder we feel shaky.

So our most worry now falls into two categories: health and finances. These are universal human concerns. These are issues that will be with us as long as we live, but now worse with Coronavirus situation.
You’re going to have to die in order to stop being concerned about your money and your health.

Let try to understand about the word “Worry.” To worry is to “give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.” The word itself comes from the Old English wyrgan, which means to strangle or to seize by the throat. That’s a helpful image because we’ve all felt the pressure squeezing us.

Just like a lot of us feel right now. We are all stuck in house for 3 weeks or more.

Let me give you a simple definition. Worry is excessive concern over the affairs of life. The key obviously is the word “excessive.” Worry happens when you are so concerned about the problems of life that you can’t think of nothing else. It is an all-consuming feeling of uncertainty and fear.

And it is a sin. Worry is a sin for two reasonsFirst, because it displaces God in your life. When you commit the sin of worry, you are living as though God did not exist. And you are living as though you alone can solve your problems. Second, because it distracts you from the things that really matter in life. As long as you are worrying, you can’t do anything else. You are strangled by worry.
How can we tell when the legitimate concerns of life have become sinful worries? Here are three practical guidelines.
You are probably well into worry . . . 

 1. When the thing you are concerned about is the first thing you think about in the morning and the last thing you think about at night.

2. When you find yourself thinking about it during every spare moment.

3. When you find yourself bringing it up in every conversation.

Seen in that light, most of us worry a lot more than we would like to admit.

Here is God’s answer to our worries, stated in one verse tucked away near the end of Peter’s first epistle:
“Casting all your cares on him, because he cares for you”ហើយ​ចូរ​ផ្ទេរ​គ្រប់​ទាំង​សេចក្តី​ទុក្ខ​ព្រួយ​របស់​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា​ទៅ​លើ​ទ្រង់ ដ្បិត​ទ្រង់​តែង​យក​ព្រះទ័យ​ទុក​ដាក់​នឹង​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា។ (1 Peter 5:7).

Let’s take a moment to unpack this text and see how to respond to God’s gracious invitation.

I. A Definite Action: “Cast all your cares on him.”

He has said, “Give me your problems.” 
1 Peter 5:7 says we are to “cast” our cares on the Lord.  There is a fine line between worry and legitimate concern.

I mention that so you will know that Peter is not telling us, “Blow off all the concerns of life.” You’ve got to think about things like your job, your education, your finances, your children, your health, your friendships, and your plans for the future. Every day you make decisions that touch all these areas.
So what is Peter saying? Make wise plans in all areas. Make the decisions you need to make. But do not be “strangled” with worry about things you can’t control.
Thus the command to “release” anxiety and “throw the full weight” of your anxieties on the Lord. We are to “unload all our worries” on him.

II. A Divine Destination: “Cast all your cares on him.”

Either he carries the worry or we do. Here’s another way to say it: “Jesus will carry your backpack as you hike toward heaven.” It’s not just that your burdens will be carried. It’s that he, the Lord of the universe, will carry them for you. He will personally carry all our worries.

Here is an invitation both intimate and personal. Jesus says, “Will you let me carry your burdens?” How can you say no to him?

III. A Delightful Reason: “Because he cares for you.”

Ponder those four simple words: “He cares for you.” What truth they contain. What hope in the time of trouble.
It means he has you on his heart. He is always thinking about you.

Here is the great truth that makes this verse so powerful. Our Father has us on his heart. He is always thinking about us.

Can God Be Trusted? Until you settle that issue, worry will rule your life. No wonder we’re so messed up!
Here is the Heart of Our Faith

Here is the heart of biblical Christianity: God cares for me. He proved it by sending his own Son to die for me. The issue was settled for all time at the cross. Any God who would sacrifice his own Son for a person like me must care for me. There’s no other reason he would do such a thing. When we come to God, we don’t have to convince him to hear us. We don’t have to chant or shout or burn incense or ring bells or use a priest or offer a sacrifice. We come as his children and gladly he hears us. We don’t do anything to make God care for us. 

So let come back to our situation we have right now. How should Christians respond ? Here are three brief answers:

1. Be Calm

Christians ought to be the calmest people on earth because we know the Lord, and he holds the future in his hands. There is no panic in heaven over this pandemic. If you spend all your time perusing the latest news, you will doubtless lose your perspective. Focus on the Lord, remember his promises, and all will be well.

2. Be Prepared

Since no one can say what tomorrow will bring, we would do well to stock up on the essentials we will need. All of us will likely be quarantined to one degree or another. At the very least, we’ll all spend more time at home than usual. So be prepared. Stock up on your prescription drugs. Buy some cleaning supplies. Make sure you have enough food to get through a week or two.

3. Be ready to share

Keep your eyes open for those in need. This includes senior citizens, the sick, and those who are otherwise overlooked by society.

We will all find plenty of opportunities to minister in the days ahead. Hebrews 12:26 tells us that “once more” God will shake the world before the coming of Christ សំឡេង​ទ្រង់​បាន​ធ្វើ​ឲ្យ​ផែនដី​កក្រើក​រញ្ជួយ​នៅ​វេលា​នោះ តែ​ឥឡូវ​នេះ ទ្រង់​សន្យា​ថា «អញ​នឹង​ធ្វើ​ឲ្យ​កក្រើក​ម្តង​ទៀត មិន​ត្រឹម​តែ​ផែនដី​ប៉ុណ្ណោះ គឺ​ទាំង​ផ្ទៃ​មេឃ​ថែម​ទៀត​ផង». That perspective helps us think wisely about the coronavirus pandemic. God is using a tiny microbe to bring the world to a standstill.

Why would God speak to us this way? Hebrews 12:27 says God is shaking everything that can be shaken (all the things built by man) so that only unshakable things can remain. របស់​ដែល​ត្រូវ​កក្រើក នោះ​ត្រូវ​រើ​ចេញ ទុក​ដូច​ជា​របស់​ដែល​បាន​ធ្វើ​ហើយ(ដែលមនុស្សបានធ្វើ) ដើម្បី​ឲ្យ​របស់​ដែល​មិន​បាន​កក្រើក​ទាំង​ប៉ុន្មាន បាន​ធន់​នៅ​វិញ។

Unshakable essentials. That says it all. God is shaking the earth so that we will figure out what matters most. Here’s the good news. Out of these shaky days will come a vast spiritual harvest. People are asking questions because they want to know who they can trust. What a wonderful door for ministry is being opened for us.

Conclusion:

Don’t despair and don’t give in to fear. We were made for times like these.

Sovereign Lord, you are the firm foundation beneath our feet. We trust in you, and we will not be moved. When the kingdoms of the earth crumble to dust, your words will still be true. Amen.

P.S.

“Hey church, it looks like we’re still going to be unable to meet together in person for a while. I wish I could say we have enough savings to defer offerings while we aren’t meeting in person. However, the reality is, we still need people to be obedient and generous during this time so we can stay open to meet the needs of the church and the church members who need help. I’ve provided the link below to give online. Here is the church website: https://thepoint.church/

Thank you for your generosity.”
We’re going to get through this. God is still building his church. Keep your head up and on straight. I'm praying for you. Thank you for everything you do to help build His church.

Proverbs 3:21-22
My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul. កូន​អើយ កុំ​ឲ្យ​សេចក្តី​ទាំង​នេះ​ចេញ​បាត់​ពី​ភ្នែក​ឯង​ឡើយ គឺចូរ​រក្សា​សេចក្តី​ដែល​មាន​ប្រយោជន៍ និង​គំនិត​វាងវៃ​ចុះ ២២ ដូច្នេះ​សេចក្តី​នោះ​នឹង​បាន​ជា​ជីវិត​ដល់​ព្រលឹង​ឯង ហើយ​ជា​គ្រឿង​លំអ​នៅ​ក

​ឯង។ Amen