‘Focus now on Christ’

by Neill Shaw, Comfort International Operations Manager

Thoughts on the past year and the way forward.

The last year has been tough. The pandemic has directly affected many people, bringing the finite nature of life and the fragility of health into sharp relief for many of us. The virus didn’t come on its own, of course. Along with it came a new and largely untested way of dealing with it – lockdown. This has also caused pain for many of us: isolation, loss of income, missed education. These things have been compounded by the feeling that we are stuck in some type of Groundhog Day; are we going to be in this “new normal” Ad Infinitum?

Of course none of this is new. In Jeremiah 29 God’s people find themselves exiled. Stranded in a strange land, with strange customs and not sure when their emancipation will arrive. There are many voices tickling their ears with the idea of “getting out” of the situation: redemption is just around the corner! Sound familiar? 

It is into this situation that God speaks to His people through the prophet Jeremiah:

This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:  ‘Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.’ (Jeremiah 29:4-7 NIVUK)

Simply put, God’s message to His people, when they find themselves in the most desperate of situations and feeling like they are without hope, is this: ‘make the best of your current situation.’

Likewise, in Philippians 3, Paul writes these words from a Roman prison cell:

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14NIVUK)

Paul is somewhere he doesn’t want to be, robbed of liberty and with every justification to be fearful of what fate awaits him. Yet his message is clear: ‘what has been has been, focus now on Christ, His calling and the prize that awaits the faithful.

  • Comfort Rwanda
  • Comfort Congo
  • Comfort Burundi
  • Comfort South Sudan
  • Good News International
  • Solace Ministries
  • Africa Hope Initiative
  • Egilise Vivante
  • Life Edifying Ministries Africa

These are our Partners. 

During the last year we have seen them embody the calling of God we have just been reading about. At a time when the people they serve face even greater isolation, hunger and despair, our faithful partners have worked tirelessly to reach as many of those in need as they can. Always full of faith, imparting hope and bringing precious food to bodies and souls; our partners have served faithfully in the gospel.

The stories of lives transformed by the work of our partners, made possible through the generous and selfless giving of our supporters, continue to flood in. Rape survivors receiving life-saving surgery in Central Hospital Rusayu in DRC; children going to school; families being fed; young single mums finding employment – the list goes on!

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5 NIVUK)

To keep this work going, especially in these most faith-building of times, we need your help: 

  • If you haven’t already, please consider giving to the work of Comfort International
  • Please share this and all our Social Media and blog articles with anyone you think may be interested
  • Please pray for us and our partners – that we would continue to be led by God and His calling
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