“For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:5-8)
My dear brothers and sisters. We are being challenged on every front to re-examine our faith and our “Christianity” and our lives as community. It is critical that we pull together and support each other and draw on each other and build a community of hope, founded on the teaching of Jesus Christ our Lord. We need to deepen our faith by developing our character, and we all know that experience and trial is where character is built. Resilience and the endurance and the ability to live in the moment but for more than the moment, are hallmarks of faith in Jesus. Living for the long run, living with the end in sight, living with the hope that comes from knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. If ever there was a time when we realised that attachment to the things of this world is a hopeless endeavour, it is now. We need to see all our possessions and status as additions to who we are, and not the foundation of who we are. We need to be secure in ourselves and our being, not in what we do and who we do it with. This is indeed a lonely time, and it is challenging to be isolated. We will easily slip into depression if we do not hold on to what is absolute! the only absolute is that we are the beloved of God. That is not dependant on our well-being success or activities, it is from God for God is love. I, however, struggle with this, and I am sure I am not alone and therefore I encourage you. Although, I struggle to feel joy when I am unsuccessful, although, I struggle to find joy when things around me are disheartening, I believe that this is where we all need to do the work. We need faith to join the process of making every effort to trust God, for faith is being confident in what is not visible, God is doing for us more than we can think or ask, God is loving us despite our mistakes and short-comings. As Augustine of Hippo said “ I believe so that I may understand.”
Our life is being challenged in many ways. All around us the ideologies and the lifestyle and the things we held dear are under strain and in fact under attack. But Christ is our rock and our fortress, the one in whom we can trust.
In the words of Ephesians 3:14-19
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. “
Love and Peace