No Regrets – “Chariots of Fire”
By Dean Honeycutt
As I write this article, we are in the middle of the Coronavirus Pandemic. It is Thursday, March 19, 2020, and all schools, restaurants, and events are shut down. We are still gathering at Snow Hill in faith trusting the Lord. Our numbers are down but people are still coming at their discretion and some of them are the most vulnerable to the disease. As of right now, we do not have a reported case of Covid-19 near us. The closest case is in Watauga county.
My faith has never been tested in this way before. I never dreamed I would be making decisions to consider canceling church services because of a virus. I never thought I would not be shaking hands with people I love and care for. We are social people created for relationships and social distancing is very difficult to practice. My heart breaks for people who cannot go see their loved ones in our nursing homes. I heard of a man who went to the nursing home every day to feed his wife and left at night but is now separated from her. Another dear friend whose daughter was on a cruise ship headed for Italy was having trouble finding a place to port. Many people on the ship were getting sick. Oh, how this father and mother long for their daughter.
Matthew 24:7-8 has really hit home during this time of sorrow and suffering.”7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers’ places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.” A pestilence is a disease and Jesus told us to expect things like this, however, we really do not think about this that much until suffering hits home. We are as Jesus told us experiencing the birth pains before the Great Tribulation. According to scripture Covid-19 is just a drop in the bucket to what is ahead of us. Famines, wars, disease, and earthquakes will get worse as we near the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
I hope and pray by the time you are reading this article Covid-19 has subsided and we have experienced the grace and mercy of God. But whatever happens and wherever you find yourself in life we must remain faithful and trust God. These recent events are a test for the church and God’s people. The Church is not immune to suffering. The early church experienced great suffering for the cause of Christ, and through her faithfulness and prayer experienced great growth during times of adversity. Many founding churches in America were established as Christians fled religious persecution and suffering.
As the church we need to look up because our “redemption draws near” praise the Lord. Jesus arose from the dead praise the Lord. “My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly trust in Jesus’ Name. When darkness seems to hide His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil. On Christ the solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand; All other ground is sinking sand.” Edward Mote
Folks may we be found faithful and may our light shine the brightest in dark days. May our eyes be open to the glory of heaven and Her King. In 2 Kings chapter six Elisha is in a town called Dothan. He and his servant have been staying there. It is a small town surrounded by hills. The king of Syria is at war with Israel and every time they try an attack on Israel their plans are foiled because Elisha warns the king of Israel what the king of Syria is planning. God tells Elisha where the Syrian army is camped that they are preparing an ambush against Israel. The king of Syria is furious that he could not ambush the Israeli army and he believes one of his own men is a traitor. But one of his servants tells the king it is not one of us, but it is Elisha the prophet who is telling the king of Israel your plans. So, during the night the army of Syria surrounds Dothan in hopes of killing Elisha. Elisha’s servant wakes up and sees they are surrounded by the Syrian army and is scared to death and he tells Elisha. Elisha says “do not be afraid because they that be with us are more than they that be with them” praise the Lord. At that moment Elisha prayed and asked God to open the eyes of his young servant. The young man’s eyes were opened, and he saw the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. Praise the Lord God’s army was there to protect God’s people.
I pray that God would open our eyes and let us see God’s divine hand of protection and deliverance. Church God is present. He is with us, and He will help us. Jesus told us we would go through hard times but will never forsake us. My dear friends remember “they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”
God bless you in His Great love,
Pastor Dean Honeycutt shepherds Snow Hill Baptist Church in Bakersville, NC. He may be reached at 828-385-0213, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website at www.snowhillbaptist.com.