Dear Friends and Neighbours,
In this Christmas Season, I just wanted to take a moment to write to you and let you know that I am praying for you, and believing that God is going to help us through this present struggle.
The Bible says in: John 16:33 – “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” There are times when all of us are confronted with difficulties and circumstances which are often beyond our control or ability to “fix,” and this pandemic is certainly one of them. However, Christmas reminds us that we are not left without hope for by humbling himself and becoming a human being, God has shown us His love and has also shown us that ultimately we have nothing to fear.
The pandemic may be testing our faith in God, but just as the birth of Christ was the fulfilment of a promise so we can continue to hold on to the other promises of God, such as Jesus promise never to leave us or forsake us (see Hebrews 13:5) or His promise to hear our prayers if offered in faith in His Name. (See John 14:13, 14) Such promises make it clear that God is sure to bring us to the other side of this situation in victory.
While things around us are not as bleak as they were with the announcement of a vaccine, I would invite you to continue to take comfort in God’s promises and particularly in these verses from 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 where Paul says: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” Here we must not think of comfort in terms of “sympathy,” because sympathy can weaken us rather than strengthen us. God, in comforting us, is not patting us on the head and giving us a piece of candy or a toy to distract our attention from our troubles. Rather, God is putting strength into our hearts so we can face our trials and triumph over them. The English word comfort comes from two Latin words meaning “with strength,” whereas the Greek word means “to come alongside and help.” And Jesus promised that those who believe and trust in him will receive the Holy Spirit, who is known as the “the Comforter” in John 14–16.
When we find ourselves discouraged because of difficult circumstances, it is easy to look to self and to our feelings, or to focus on the problems around us, but the first step we must take is to look by faith to the Lord and realize all that God is to us. “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” (Ps. 121:1–2).
My thanks to all who have helped by contributing, time, monies and talents as we have had to do a new thing and may God bless you and all your families this Christmas Season and in the New Year.
May you have a truly joy filled Christmas and blessed New Year,
Richard & Margie
Rev. R. G. Moffat,