By Rev SEIK PITOI
IN my first article in January, we discussed what many forecasters are telling us, that there will be difficult days ahead. We saw how this year began with an escalation of the coronavirus pandemic that swept throughout the word in 2020.
We began 2021 a new strain of the virus which was first detected in Britain. It has now spread to other countries and is again wracking havoc. By the grace of God, we are being spared the terrible effects of the virus. As I have always stated, this is no license for us to drop our guard. We must continue to be vigilant in adhering to the Covid protocols. Importantly, especially for Christian believers, we must continue to remain in the place of humble repentance and intercessory prayer for our nation!
But in this article, I wish to be a bit more positive. It is so easy to be pulled down by all the doom and gloom we are sensing in the air.
News can be depressing
The overseas news can be quite depressing, especially when seeing images on television of the ravages of the virus, with scenes of hospital staff breaking into tears because of the stress, mortuaries full of bodies, and mass burials where weeping relatives stand afar off as their loved ones are buried with hundreds of others. Then there’s wars and rumours of wars in many nations, together with the resultant poverty and rampant corruption in governments. The world is in such dire straits it seems impossible to be positive. But can we?
I heard of a man recently who was so incensed at seeing posts of last day’s events, such as the globalists’ one world government agenda, watering down of God’s word regarding gender issues and basic morals, as well as the connection of the coronavirus, vaccines and the mark of the beast that he rubbished all such posts. He said they were not true simply because Jesus rose from the dead! That to me is a classic case of the ‘Ostrich syndrome’. The ostrich is a huge cassowary-like flightless bird that has a long neck and often buries its head in the sand, seemingly to hide from danger. Scientist however explain that the animal is actually checking her eggs and turning them over under the sand. But the term was coined to refer to someone who refuses to acknowledge reality!
I believe there is validity in shutting our ears to depressing news. Information is important, but we must control what we hear otherwise we will be like “chicken liken” in the fairy tale who was always afraid that the sky would fall on his head! We should also note the difference between being news junkies and ostriches. News junkies spend every minute of the day on social media and television, fishing for the latest overseas scandal, keeping tallies of Covid death counts and other not so uplifting activities. After a heavy dose of depressing news, they wonder why they cannot fall asleep at night. Ostriches, on the other hand, refuse reality and pretend everything will grind on as usual; that nothing bad will happen. They see the world through rose-coloured glasses and have a skewed understanding of prophetic scripture. Both extremes should be avoided. Just get enough news to have an idea of what is happening in the world, and switch it off! Turn to other interesting and positive things to occupy your mind.
A globalist agenda?
On the issue of the mark of the beast, the globalist agenda and the watering down of biblical morals – read the Bible! It’s all prophesied. Indeed, we are grateful that Jesus rose from the dead, but He Himself warned us of what is to come. Otherwise, the book of Revelation and other prophetic scriptures should be cut out! I have taught on some of these eschatological issues in previous articles so we will not discuss them here, however, we would do well to be aware of such happenings.
In coming back to the topic of our discussion, how can we be positive amidst all the negatives? People have their own views on this question depending on their value systems and religious beliefs. As a Christian minister, obviously I will turn to the Bible for answers. Here are a few points to ponder:
1. Know God is in control
That might seem hard to comprehend as it looks like things are falling apart today. An American Christian brother recently lamented, “We repented, prayed and even fasted, yet the virus continues unabated. I’m through with all those false prophets who told lies about the virus. Moreover, despite our prayers, the ‘fraud-filled’ elections returned those who are now watering down God’s word and selling our country out. Has God shut up shop and gone home?”
That is a very depressed person. I’m sure his views are shared by many who feel as if God doesn’t care. But God does and He is very much in charge.
In the second psalm, we read: “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed (Jesus)… He (God) who sits in the heavens laughs”! (Psalm 2: 1-4 ESV). God sees the work of puny mankind and laughs. He is amused at our stupidity. Ephesians chapter 1 also says the resurrected Christ is seated at the Father’s right hand and “rules there above all heavenly rulers, authorities, powers, and lords; He has a title superior to all titles of authority in this world and in the next” (v 20-21). No, the Lord has not abdicated. He is still seated on His throne. And the beautiful thing is, as believers, we too are seated with Him above all else (Eph 2: 6). God is in control but He is allowing His prophetic word to come to pass. He forewarned us about it. In the meantime, though, we have His power and authority to be victorious through all that is happening!
2. Adjust and be creative
Because we know God is in control, we must adjust our lives according to what is happening. If Covid has affected your business, seek God for what else you can do to turn things around. Be creative and positive. One businessman saw a niche in the market for something he never tried before, so he took a step to do it. He was so successful he couldn’t believe he had never thought about it earlier – until Covid squeezed it out of him! While others see a dead-end, you will see opportunities if you trust God, adjust and be creative!
Know that your creativity is a gift from God. Moses tells the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8: 17-18 (GNB): “You must never think that you have made yourselves wealthy by your own power and strength. Remember that it is the LORD your God who gives you the power to become rich. He does this because he is still faithful today to the covenant that he made with your ancestors.” Be creative and positive and God will bless your efforts.
3. Sow good seeds
I talked in my second article in January about how we should be kind to other people. We talked about “paying it forward”, so a culture of being kind to one another can grow.
In this difficult time, I believe that is a powerful tool. Even if you are struggling, know that there is someone else doing it tougher than you. If you can, reach out and help. Psychologists say acts of kindness bring satisfaction, releasing endorphins in your brain that makes you feel good. This has a positive effect on your overall health. Meanwhile, fear, anger and resentment will bring out the opposite effect. New Age teachers also say kindness and gratitude are two powerful means of allowing the ‘law of attraction’ to work in your life. They say that as you do these things, ‘the universe’ will bring you ‘good fortune’!
These are divine principals. Jesus Himself taught this. He said: “Give to others, and God (not the universe) will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands – all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you.” (Luke 6:38 GNB). The Apostle Paul also teaches that you will reap what you sow (2 Cor 9: 6).
If you sow good seed (helping other people), you will reap a good harvest (your needs will be met)! So one way to be positive is to look to the needs of another and help, and expect God to meet your needs in return, as He promised He would (Phil 4:19). Above all, “give thanks to God in all circumstances” (1 Thess 5: 18).
Finally, these difficult times ahead will bring out the best in us. We cannot hide our heads under the sand and pretend nothing is happening around us. As realists, we understand that the going will be tough; but as people of faith in God, we know we are victors in all situations.
Be positive at all times and surround yourself with positive people. Know that God will helps us make it through this season.
• Rev Seik Pitoi is a freelance writer.