As we continue our study of James which contains much rich and practical advice, we each have to grapple with how to live out our faith in the light of what’s going on around us in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all to some degree.
For some families, it has been divisive in terms of whether or not to take the vaccine. Many parents of school-aged children especially are struggling with the challenge of working from home and dealing with Home-Based Learning requirements. We also have church members among us who have lost loved ones during these two years, and have not been able to spend more time with them, or say a proper farewell, as we would in pre-COVID times.
On the work-front, some might have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, whereas others are overloaded with more work due to tightened manpower recruitment in the office.
Looking outside our own immediate spheres, we read the news about how the pandemic has affected our nearest neighbours, as well as what’s been going on in countries further away like Afghanistan and Haiti.
With so much going on, it might well be easy to become frozen in anxiety and even despair. Or perhaps we might fall into the other extreme of building a wall around ourselves and our family – just keep our head down, and go through the motions of the daily grind. How do we care for others as Jesus would, without being too affected emotionally? Besides praying for God’s mercy and waiting expectantly for Christ’s return, how should we continue to live our lives?
First and foremost, we each need to cultivate that intimate relationship with God, anchored in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Only then can we be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading, and also be sensitive to the needs of others around us. Do we take time each day to submit to the Lordship of Christ, and commit our words, decisions, and actions to Him? As we are learning about in the book of James, we need to rely on God for His divine wisdom in how to live out our faith as Ambassadors for Christ (James 1:5, 3:17). We have recently been reminded in our pulpit series that our faith cannot just be lip service. Instead, our faith is made apparent in what we do (James 2:17).
By coming to God each day with our feelings and thoughts, and committing our words and actions into His hands, we can rely on the hope that we have despite the tumultuous times we live in. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”. (Romans 15:13)
By sister Dorcas Yap