Encouragement for Tough Times
For this week’s Weekly, I share with you a letter from our Division president, Elder Israel Leito, written back in 2009. Though written in Advance Life as a result of the economic recession back then, you will still find the words encouraging and applicable nearly 5 years later. This letter is most interesting and appropriate for this time.
“Dear Saints of the Lord:
The World is in financial turmoil, and many see this as fulfillment of prophecies. Because we are a prophetic people, we pay keen attention to the events gripping our world in fear. However, God’s people can remain confident, knowing we are in His hands. This is not the time to panic. It is not the time to be paralyzed by fear, nor is it the time to forget that this is the Lord’s church, and we are His people.
As financial institutions are collapsing, as banks are closing, as credit becomes tighter, we must lift up our eyes to heaven in gratitude, because the Lord is still holding the winds of strife, giving us time to reach our neighbors and friends with the message of salvation.
Not a Time to Panic
It is time to rejoice because of the prospect of the soon return of our Lord. However, life goes on, and we must live as the best citizens on this planet. The future is very uncertain, but we are confident the Lord will see us through. His will must be done, and we need to be ready to accept His will in our lives. In the meantime, what can we do?
Definitely, nowhere in the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy do we learn that this is the time to panic or lose our heads. To the contrary, this is the time for ardent prayers, this is the time to frequent God’s house and to associate with His people like never before. This is the time to really care for our brother.
As we go about our lives, please remember that in times of crisis, many civil guarantees will be suspended or canceled outright. The world has seen years of peace and quietness, time had been given to us. However, this is the time for action in preparation for what may come.
Threats to Sabbath Keepers
According to predictions by the experts, one of the first things that may happen is massive job loss. In times of crisis, there is no job security, and as workers in the upper echelons of society lose their jobs, they will fall back on the jobs of the less fortunate persons. It must not surprise us to soon see persons who had high paying jobs, be our trash collectors, for want of a better job.
As Adventists we must be aware of this reality, and one of the first groups of casualties many well be the Sabbath keepers. Protections we have enjoyed thus far may not be there anymore, and to ask for the privilege of Sabbath off to worship according to the dictates of our conscience may well be the reason to be laid off. We need not despair, for the Lord is on our side. However, there are things we can do today to at least lower the possibility of getting fired. No, it is not relying on the laws to protect us, but by being the best workers possible.
Conscious Workers and Supportive Members
Although it was always important that Seventh-day Adventists should be the best workers and citizens there are at all times, now it is more essential than ever. We must engage in our work always with a prayer on our lips, asking the Lord to help us to discharge our duties to the best of our abilities. Let us make sure we are never late for work; let us make sure we are not the first to leave at quitting time. Let us pray to the Lord to preserve our health in order for us not to have to take days off due to real sickness or because we just need “a day to attend to other business.” Let us treat our fellow workers with respect, and deal honestly with our employers, by giving an honest day’s work. Let us go beyond the call of duty. After all, what is to happen shall happen, but don’t let us accelerate it needlessly by just being average workers. We must be the best workers around.
This is the time to intensify our commitment to the Lord, our love for one another, and our dedication to His church. We do not return our tithe to force the Lord to bless, because according to His blessings, we return to Him what is His. This must be a priority now. Let us come together to pray, and to study God’s Word. Let us fill our churches on Wednesday nights to pray, and invite our neighbors to come with us to the house of the Lord to pray.
If you know of a brother or a sister who has fallen on hard times, make life more bearable for him/her. Share with each other what we have, and make the burden of our fellow Christians lighter.
No, we are not in panic mode, but we realize that this may be the call of the Lord to draw closer to Him, and to be prepared for bigger things that are to come on this earth.
May the Lord grant us His peace in this time of trouble, and may His blessings preserve us from the ills of the world and the uncertainties surrounding us.
President of the Inter-American Division