Matter of Faith: Focus and Faith

By Rev. J. Loren Russell

“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…”

2 Timothy 3:14-16 (NKJV)

Like everyone else, I have been closely following the worldwide destruction of COVID-19. I have taken close notice of the actions taken by the United States government as well as individual states to slow the spread of this deadly virus. The unfortunate truth is that no one knows what’s coming next or the most effective way to respond. Fear and panic have begun settling in while people search for words of comfort and words of encouragement. Paul’s second letter to Timothy has such words!  

Despite his personal situation, Paul was concerned about the welfare of the church; those individuals who were followers of Christ. So, he writes this letter to his young protégé with clear instruction for him to be faithful, to safeguard, and to share the gospel as broadly as possible. In order to equip Timothy for whatever challenges, hardships or persecutions he would face, Paul gives him this “handbook” to help him along the way. It not only gives guidance, but inspiration as well.

There is a story in the scripture of Paul being let down in a basket over the wall because there was a plot to kill him (Acts 9:24-25). Just because he was a disciple of Christ did not exempt him from persecution. We are encouraged to use the scripture to help people. This epistle is not only a handbook for Timothy, it a guide for believers today. The scripture text cited for this article is an exhortation for us to be faithful to what we have already been taught and what we already know. The Contemporary English Translation of the text says, “Keep on being faithful to what you were taught and to what you believed. After all, you know who taught you these things. Since childhood, you have known the Holy Scriptures that are able to make you wise enough to have faith in Christ Jesus and be saved. Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live.”

During these days of uncertainty, people need to know that Christ is not a word of encouragement, and He is not an inspirational footnote. He is the spiritual blessing that includes grace, mercy, peace, even life itself! This is the faith that must be shared and taught to others, showing them how-to live-in times of trouble.

So, here it is: Trust God while you follow the instructions given by our government. Stay safe, stay connected to loved ones and those who are most vulnerable, eat to live, stay healthy and share your faith and your blessings with others. Remember that we are not immune to the things of the world; when it rains, we all get wet.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of  JLR   for Church Financial Strategy and Consulting, an associate minister at Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, and creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” – Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen and view on Matters of Faith on Facebook.