Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 NIV)
In a recent post, I wrote about how important it is for us to engage the world by loving mercy and seeking justice as peacemakers. Since then, the news has been no less full of contention and heartbreak.
On the one hand, I feel like my ability to listen politely and explain things clearly is valuable, and that I can use it for good. On the other hand, I’m exhausted, and I’m not spending enough time on other important callings in my life. Film critic Tim Grierson tweeted about the conflicting feelings I’m having: “Being angry all the time is exhausting and corrosive. Not being angry feels morally irresponsible.”
God knew this. He knew that being peacemakers would be tiring, thankless work (especially when we move beyond social media, though that can be bad enough), and he called us to it anyway. So how are we to engage in a healthy, godly way?
We had a fun conversation about Hebrews in our Immerse Bible study. Reading familiar verses in a translation we don’t usually use (in this case, the New Living Translation) helped bring the advice alive.
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23-25 NLT)
When doing God’s peacemaking work, we must first remember “the hope we affirm”: that God is for us. That we are sinners, but he’s made us righteous through the blood of Jesus.
Then we are told to intentionally “think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” We were discussing this verse and asked each other, “When was the last time you just sat around with some Christians and brainstormed ways to help?” One of the worst results of the negative news that dominates headlines and social media is that I often feel helpless—as if the world is awful and there’s nothing I can do. God exhorts us to get creative. Look around. Figure it out.
Finally, we are not to “neglect our meeting together,” because we will need the love and support of other Christians. The narrow way is not one that we can walk alone, at least not without losing heart. Spontaneous meetings are great, but I also benefit from having made a commitment to a pre-arranged time and place. That refers to our weekly Sunday morning service, of course, but also to small groups or other short-term events.
This summer, you have an opportunity to participate in a regular meeting with a limited time frame. Creekside is coordinating “Prayer Lighthouses,” groups that will meet once a week at least until our Fall kickoff and pray for both Creekside and their immediate vicinity. Since Creeksiders are spread throughout the area, this is a chance to focus on neighborhoods outside the one we see on Sunday morning (which we also love to serve). While we do, let’s keep our eyes open for creative ways that we can do good things for those nearby.
God promises that his grace will be sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9), that his mercy is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23), that he never grows tired or weary. If we depend on his power, we can rest in the encouragement from these famous verses in Isaiah:
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV)
Abigail’s contact info can be found in the directory.