This has been on crazy, challenging year. We all started the year out ready to fulfill all our “New Year’s Resolutions,” all the birthdays, anniversaries, the holidays, and of course the vacations. We had them all on the calendars, in our phones, all the reminder alarms set, and we’re making the travel arrangements. Then “it” hit. The great “Pandemic” of the age. You know the virus that shut us down. That caused and still causes many of us a little fear to be around each other. “Where have you been? Who have you been around? Have you travelled outside of the country? Did you go to a state that has a high amount of cases? Are you in an area that is marked as ‘travel restricted?'” Fear set in. 

The country was “locked down.” You didn’t go out to the grocery store, you ordered your groceries online and you waited in the parking lot for them to bring them out to you. Or, you had them delivered to your house. You stayed home and cooked your meals, or you ordered and picked up, or you found out how to use “door-dash.” Church worship went strictly online. I had peers who struggled preaching to “empty” rooms, who struggled with finding the right method of getting their worship services out. Struggled with, “Do we have service, don’t we have service? How do we have service? When do we re-open? How do we re-open? Will people come back?” 

As the year progressed there were new challenges and unrest in our country with all the riots, racial unrest, “Will it come to my doorstep? How will I deal with it? Am I racist?” We started struggling with a whole new set of problems and fears that just were added to the ones that we were already dealing with. There were many who had “high anxiety.” Many who were dealing with “depression” and “mental illness” before, and now they were just sinking deeper and deeper. What do you do? How do you help?

It’s in situations like these that the enemy starts to swoop in and take over. He likes to come in and say, “Where is your God now? You call yourself a believer? I thought you were so strong in your faith. You’re nothing but some washed up limp rag. I’m going to huff and puff and blow your house in. Actually….you’re not even worth my time because you’re already cowering in the corner and walking away from the Lord.” And because of our fear, we believe him. We turn to others for help, we turn to social media for help, we turn to the news for answers, we turn to bed for answers, we turn to isolation for answers. We are swallowed up in our fear. We are swallowed up in the statements of the enemy. We forget about our faith. We forget about the power that we have in Jesus Christ. We forget that we are More than conquerors in Jesus Christ. We forget that we are the Head and not the tail. 

In Scripture we read these words, 2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” This version is the Amplified and I just loves the words that it uses in this passage. Actually, I just love this passage. This is one that has helped me throughout this year and hopefully it helps you through the rest of this year. However, let’s look at some of this wording. God has not given us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear… Growing up I was not, well, I’m still not the most outgoing person. I do well writing where I don’t have to deal with people face to face. I know that the Lord has told us that we’re to share His love with people. So, I force myself to say, “Hi” to people at the store, even during these trying times. Especially during these trying times. I see so many people walking around with frowns on their faces. Walking around with sad looking eyes, because I can’t really see their mouths because of the masks. But you can just tell that they are just sad. You can just tell that they are unhappy. So, when I catch their gaze, I try and say, “Hi.” I try and ask them how their doing. Is it scary? Is it out of character? Is it something that I would normally do? No. Because I’m normally a backward, timid, coward, and fearful person. The enemy knows this and he reminds me of it every time I see someone that could use a word of encouragement. 

But, look at what this says, He has given us a spirit of POWER…with God I’m Superman. I go from being Clark Kent to Superman. I go from being Tony Stark to Ironman. I go from being David Banner into the Incredible Hulk, (Okay enough superhero talk), I think you get the picture. Jesus said to the disciples in Acts, “You will receive Power, after the Holy Spirit comes…” That word “power” there is “dunamis” and is Greek where we get our word “dynamite.” Look at what Jesus is really saying, “You will receive (Dynamite)…” Now look at our verse, “For God did not give you a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but (He has given us a spirit) of dynamite…” Oh, that’s some shouting stuff right there!!!!!!! That’s some stuff that will overcome any pandemic. That’s some stuff that will outweigh any riot. That’s some stuff that will get you through any depression. That’s some stuff that will calm all anxiety. That’s some stuff that will dissipate all hurricanes in your life. “God has given you a Spirit of DYNAMITE!!!”

Some of you might be too young to remember the TV show “Good Times.” On the show one of the actors, J. J. Walker had a famous line, “Dyn-O-MITE!!!” (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, YouTube it, lol). That’s what you have in you, “Dyn-O-MITE!” as a believer. You have the Holy Spirit, “Dyn-O-MITE!!!” So, next time you have that anxiety creeping in, that depression is pulling you into the pit, the riots are overwhelming you, the isolation walls are closing in, remember that God has “Not given you a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but (He has give us a spirit) of “Dyn-O-MITE!!”

Pastor Rob

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