A note from Jim:
Drake Holtry is writing today’s Daily Article. Drake is Media Manager at the Denison Forum. He oversees all our social media, videos, podcasts, and other media. He is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University, an active member of Antioch Community Church, and a loyal Boston Celtics fan.
Drake has a heart for the nations, having lived and worked with indigenous missionaries in Kenya and Zimbabwe for two years, and regularly keeps an eye on the international news of the day. I know you’ll appreciate his article today.
If you were to stop what you’re doing right now to view the latest headlines, you wouldn’t see much worthy of a parade. The political climate is as volatile as ever, devastating fires are impacting the West Coast, and we’re stuck watching baseball until football and basketball season start back.
But take a closer look.
Scroll down past the main headlines to read some of the less publicized pieces.
Like the story of Ricky Smith, a thirty-six-year-old father who works at McDonald’s, Popeyes, and Circle K, and who surprised his daughter with her dream dress for her eighth-grade dance.
Or what about the NYC Public Library’s willingness to let cardholders check out neckties and briefcases for job interviews?
Try to tell Cristina Muneton, a fifty-eight-year-old ovarian cancer patient, that there isn’t anything in life worth having a parade about. Her family and friends literally held a parade for her in her hometown of Jacksonville, Florida.
Stories of people doing good are out there. We just have to keep scrolling.
A story of victory
Just like the news headlines of our day, the farther we read into Scripture, the more stories of God’s goodness we find. He was good when he created the heavens and earth in Genesis 1:1. He was good when Jesus breathed his last breath as a man in Mark 15:37. He will be good when Jesus returns as promised in Revelation.
There is a lot of discouraging news in our world, but we can find hope because, even in our moments of despair, God has already won and is moving in our lives. As believers, our story is one of victory.
In every season we have a reason to thank God for the blessings he has given us. I have personally had seasons of higher highs and lower lows, but, even in the low seasons, I have found something to be thankful for because God is good.
What can you be thankful for in this season of life?
“Let me learn by paradox”
There is an old Puritan prayer book I own called The Valley of Vision. In it, I have a handful of prayers I run back to, but my favorite speaks of the paradox of life. It’s a great read–nice and short but powerful. My favorite part reads:
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
So often we want to know God’s will for our lives and have a blueprint or set of instructions. God gave us one, which we find in his word. Mark 12:30-31 states it about as simply as possible: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Be someone else’s good news
Be encouraged. God is just as active today as he was in the Scriptures you read. The Holy Spirit is alive and moving among the nations and your local community.
You don’t need to go on a mission to live missionally. Instead, show Jesus to your local barista, crossing guard, or neighbor. It’s easy to love your neighbor on a mission trip halfway around the world. The real test is loving your literal neighbor, the one who parks in front of your house, plays music too loudly, or has roosters that crow before even God is awake. (I may or may not have a neighbor with roosters.)
So don’t be discouraged about what you see on TV or read in the headlines. The war has already been won. We are on the side of victory. All we have to do is love.
So how can you show Jesus’ love to the men and women God has placed in your life? Whom can you send an encouraging message to right now? Stop and ask God whose day you can start on an encouraging note, then send them a text.
God isn’t asking everyone to move halfway around the world for him, but he is asking you to live missionally where you are.