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hope for churches in stress


There are times when God acts in great and powerful ways (Isaiah 29:5-7). More typically, the work of God in us is subtle and gradual. “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day” (Proverbs 4:18).

In unremarkable days, we can experience the presence of the Lord. In common roles and places, the Lord God “bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:10-12).

The demands of life-as-usual create occasions to practice honesty, modesty, humility, and reconciliation. Everyday skirmishes with sloth, anger, lust, and disrespect become a training regimen for godliness (1 Timothy 4:7).

On any given day, we can “lean in” to opportunities for sacrificial love. We can push through fatigue to serve an unmet need. We can extend grace to someone who has done nothing to deserve our kindness (Ephesians 5:1-2).

When we pay attention, we can see the ills of our nation and world within the radius of our normal movement. We can share the Good News, help the poor, feed the hungry, and set prisoners free by assisting individuals and households close at hand (Luke 4:18-19).

Nothing is too small. When we clear a room of clutter, we bring order out of chaos like God does (Genesis 1:1-3). When we act with common courtesy, we express love, consideration, and respect to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

We can aspire to greatness as long as we understand that we must start, here and now, right where we are, in ordinary days, to offer to God a life, though imperfect, that is lived well (Luke 22:24-27).

In the words of Brother Lawrence, a lay brother who washed pots and pans in a French monastery five centuries ago: “We ought not be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed."


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