Count Your Blessings — Even in the Midst of a Pandemic2 min read

For many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic is perhaps the biggest life-changing event that we as a country will face. Fortunately, our generation has missed the great depression and world wars which caused even greater lifestyle changes than what we are facing today. As we all know, this pandemic has caused the closing of schools and colleges, cancellations of sporting events, and job losses for many people. Churches are no longer holding in-person services, concerts are cancelled, vacations postponed, etc. The coronavirus has caused significant declines in the world’s financial markets, decreasing the value of people’s investments and retirement funds.

It is easy for people to become bitter and frightened in these circumstances, and many will blame God. God’s Word tells us of a better way: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–17). These verses give us actions that will enable us to overcome the worst circumstances. We aren’t told just to “feel better” but to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks…”

There’s a lot to give thanks for, too, when we’re going through difficult times. God is with us, and He is control. What a joy we have knowing that we have God’s presence and protection. We have God’s strong and abiding presence through His Word and Sacrament. Each and every day, we have the opportunity to turn to God in His Word to be uplifted and refreshed even when the world around us seems to be closing down. Through the faith that God gives us, we know it is God’s will that we rejoice in Him and seek His peace in the midst of this virus pandemic.

In the midst of this crisis, the Church still continues its vital mission and ministry. Jesus tells us, “I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). God promises us that nothing will overcome the Church because it rests on Jesus. The Church is here to minister to the bitter, frightened, and doubtful. We encourage your prayers and ask you to continue your generous giving. The virus will keep us away from church for a while, but we do ask that you continue your faithful giving. May God help us all during these challenging times to be the light that He wants us to be.

Photo courtesy of Elisa Schulz Photography

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About the Author

Ron Chewning serves as Chairman of the Michigan District Stewardship Committee. Previously he served as the East Coast Regional Vice President for the LCMS Foundation. In the late 1990s, Chewning developed and began Stewardship Advisors, which produces and provides year-round stewardship education resources to congregations. He is a member of Our Shepherd, Birmingham.

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Bonni Mittelstadt - April 28, 2020

Excellent Ron and Thank You for putting that all into perspective – encouraging words!

John Mittelstadt - April 28, 2020

Ron, your words help bring comfort to many. Once again you have reminded us to be grateful during all circumstances, even this God’s Time Out we’re going through now.