Returning home after Christmas, the desperate condition of South Africa hit us all over again–no electricity hours a day, corruption at the highest levels of government, incompetency in state owned enterprises, a suffering economy, and crime, just for a start.That was even before we add in the Corona virus

For me personally, the beginning of the year has held significant health challenges, relational challenges, business challenges, and other challenges of life. Many different things that, if I let them, can cause fear, hopelessness and despair

In it all, Jesus keeps repeating to me,  “I HAVE NOT given you a spirit of fear, but a Spirit of power, love and a sound mind.” II Tim. 1:7

He has called me to be a “dealer of hope.”  Fear comes from my flesh, the enemy or the world, but NEVER from my Father, the King who reigns and rules over ALL things.  Whether it’s fear of a virus, fear for kids, fear with safety, fear in health, fear with finances…it NEVER comes from Him.  God’s currency is faith, never fear.  

Fear, though sometimes obvious, is at other times disguised.  I find my self using “nice” words like: “being concerned,” “using wisdom,”  “worrying just a little,” “wanting the best,” “being safe,” or “being prudent.”  Jesus is rooting these disguised fears out of me, one by one, replacing them with His peace.  

His peace is a clear measures of my base of operation–fear or faith.  Fear never brings peace, but trusting in the Prince of PEACE and His leading always does.  

I also am asking for greater understanding of His love these days, as “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”  I John 4:18

One of the exercises that we did at our women’s Bible study in January was to read outloud together every verse in the Bible on hope.  I have included it here for those of you who need encouragement like we do.  “Our hope is built on Nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.  I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus name.  On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

In the midst of all that is happening in our world these days, I pray that we who know Jesus will be “dealers of hope,” grounded in His word and presence, coming with a spirit of Power, Love and a Sound Mind, even when the world all around me is freaking out!