Bombings in Brussels.
The presidential election.
What a year, eh?
I bet we can all agree that 2016 has been a crazy year.
I want to encourage you all. Not because I feel like I have a lot to say, but because I believe God has some things to say through me.
Even though this year was a tough one, not only for this world but personally as well, I believe that there is still good in this world.
I have seen and heard, just like the rest of you, about the terrible things that are happening all around us.
But I have also seen and heard, all of the good.
Every year I have some sort of challenge. I wouldn’t call it a New Year’s resolution but it’s just something that I change or something that I do throughout the year that makes me feel good. Last year I prayed for people. I prayed God would show me people that need my help, people that are struggling, people that need money or food, and people that need Jesus.
I remember driving somewhere and seeing a man with a sign on the side of the road. . Without even any thought, as if my hand was doing it all by itself, I grabbed my wallet and gave him some money. The only words that came out of my mouth were “hey, remember that Jesus died for you and he loves you.” And I’m not over- exaggerating, but the man started crying. It only makes me think that maybe the thing that he needed wasn’t money after all.
We all remember election day (how could we not). It was a sad day for some people and a glorious day for others. But something that I saw the day after election day was something that I will never forget. I was driving to work when the truck in front of me stopped abruptly in the middle of the road. I was confused at first but then I saw that there was a man with a bike standing on the side of the road. He had a bunch of bags on the bike and seemed like he was struggling. The guy in the truck walked out, asked the man where he was going, and grabbed all of his bags and the bike and put them in the back of the truck. The man with the bike was thanking him multiple times. In that moment, God was reminding me that there is still good. That even in the hardest, saddest times, humanity still loves.
In 1st Peter chapter 2, verse 17 it says “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor.” Even though many of us may not be happy about the results of the election, I truly believe the only way we can live out the word is by doing just this. Honoring everyone, loving everyone, fearing God, and honoring the president. Doesn’t matter who they are and doesn’t matter what they’ve done, the new commandment is to love one another.
This last Christmas Eve, I invited a close friend of mine to a church near my house. I was surprised when she said yes. It was pure gospel during the service. She loved it. She is continuing to go there with me and I pray she sees Jesus the way that she needs to. I could’ve just went about my life. Not really caring about anyone’s salvation except for mine. But what kind of a Christ follower would I be? Spurgeon once said “what I have found of God in Jesus Christ is so wonderful. I am eager for others to know it too- and to know Him.”
I’ve seen and heard about the corrupted world we live in.
But I’ve also seen people who pay for other people’s coffee. People that chase a kid’s ball down the street. People that hold the door for strangers. People that talk and talk and talk about things that they are passionate about. People who have silly laughs, but still laugh the loudest. People that are genuinely excited to see you. People who pray for you.
These people are larger than anything bad in this world. The Jesus inside of them is shown.
This is grace.
This is what it means to be a Christ follower.
A person ready to show love to everyone.
We are all struggling in this world. Showing kindness is a simple way to tell another struggling soul that there is love in this world. So, continue. Continue to invite people to church. Continue to pray for people. Continue to do good things to good, and not-so-good people.
I hope you find peace in doing these things.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Let the love of Jesus overflow so that people around you can feel it too. And remember, there is still good.