Wednesday, November 16, 2016

immigration, the election and dealing with fear


for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

It has been one week since Election Day.  There has been so much said, done, challenged and words through around during the election and after.  That is why I take a few minutes to share something close to my heart.

In the past two years we have had the honor at The Community Fellowship to host a brand new Hispanic church as well as our own Hispanic worship service in our building.  Pastor Miguel Galdamez and Pastor Reinel Castaneda have become dear friends as we partner to share the love of God with many more people, especially those who speak Spanish.

During this election much fear has risen especially from those who are in our country and not citizens.  It is true that some of those people are here illegally.  Please understand that I am not making a political statement this post, but I chose to make a spiritual statement that is vital to the life of our Savior.

Each and every person has a soul and a destiny.  Both you and I are headed to heaven or to hell.  They both are real places, and each of us has a choice to make.  It is my belief and conviction that Jesus is the only way a person gets to heaven.

You may have a strong opinion about immigration and people who are in the United States without proper documentation.  It is for those people that our Savior gave His life on the cross.  That does not change their status, but it ought to change how we look at others.

As I listen to and see the fear coming from some of the people closest to me, some sweet friends from the Latino community, my heart hurts and mourns for each of them and their families.  These truly are uncertain times.  And the feelings that are felt bring even more strain and hurt.

It ought to be us, as followers of Jesus, to inspire strength and not defeat, to encourage peace instead of battle, to give hope and not desperation.  The fear is real. 

The next steps and the plan of our future president is unknown at this point, and my prayer is that people will have the peace of God each day.  I am not sure what that means totally for immigration, but I am sure that God loves people and has a plan for every person no matter where they live or where they were born.

People matter.  People of every color matter.  Fear traps any that embrace it, and our God is the best at displacing and removing fear.  That reminds me that we need to have a message to share that is based in God’s truth and laced with the compassion God gives us.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.

That last verse is one I shared earlier this week using the first part of the verse, and this time I use the last part.  God will keep His promises.  Also, we don’t have to worry if we trust God.

Human nature tells us to hold our fears.  Our God tells us to let faith replace fear.  May we, each and every Jesus follower, be people who gives hope to those we encounter.  When you talk with a person gripped by fear, talk to them about Jesus, show compassion, pray with them and do something that inspires even more hope.  That is possible.

Again, my heart hurts because of the fear some of my friends are dealing, but my heart rests in the fact that our God isn’t done.

Pray for those in our country that are uncertain and pray for the leaders of our country!

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