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The tightrope of faith

Even I must admit when I see that a healing meeting has been cancelled due to the corona threat it seems a little odd, and yes it’s easy to criticise.

As a church leader myself I know the pressure of leading a church and in particular having responsibility for a congregation. You run the complete gambit from celebrating a birth or wedding to holding someone’s hand as they are dying or helping a grieving family deal with the loss and bewilderment of bereavement.

These are unprecedented times certainly in my lifetime, people are concerned and worried. I have often wondered what it was like living through the uncertainty of war having spoken to many who went through the blitz years and while I am in no way comparing this time to their experience we can feel the anxiety of uncertainty.

Many will turn to church leaders for comfort and guidance and more will just be observing. Firstly I do totally believe in the power of prayer, intercession is vital. I also know that God can and does heal.

However I also know from experience that not every prayer has the answer we want and not every loved one is healed. I often point people to chapter 12 of the book of Acts, people love the account of Peter being delivered from the jail however the same chapter starts with the Death of James. Did James not have the the same prayer network as Peter, I don’t think that is the case rather it was Gods unfathomable will.

Which brings us to the dilemma church leaders are facing now, I do not believe that taking reasonable measures in line with government and scientific advice is showing a lack of faith, in fact it shows astute leadership. We are not snake handlers we must operate with wisdom and this is not contrary to faith.

I would also urge restrain when I read that God will protect everyone from this virus, the bible and history is quite clear that this is not the case, as well as the lesson from James and Peter we also know that Christians have died in wars, accidents, infections, car crashes and viral infections.

Hebrews 9 tells us that “it is appointed for men to die” death is I am afraid inevitable. We will all die however a faith in Jesus Christ gives us a hope of a better life not only on earth but in heaven also.

Some Christians will die in this pandemic. I wish I could be more reassuring but I can’t, it will not stop me praying for everyone during this time, including for scientific breakthroughs, it also won’t derail my faith.

Finally I have been asked if I think this is a sign of the end times prophesied in the bible, I will leave that one for more learned scholars than me. We know events like this will frequent end times but we also know events like this have happened in history around every 100 years or so.

Perhaps the best advise I ever had is pray like Jesus is coming back tomorrow and plan like it’s 1000 years from now!

Please keep praying , keep washing your hands and keep the faith

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