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Alistair Begg Encourages Us to Give an Answer for Our Hope

    Dear Friend,

    I am pretty sure that a number of us have found ourselves turning to the concluding verses of Habakkuk during these somewhat daunting days. The prophet, much like Job and sometimes the psalmist, is having a hard time reconciling the difficulties God’s people face with His promise to protect and provide. Resolution comes when he turns to God in prayer and reminds himself that “God, the Lord, is my strength,” and so although he may be faced with a series of material disasters, yet he “will rejoice in the Lord” and “take joy in the God of my salvation.” I encourage you to read the short prophecy. Remember Paul’s words to the church at Rome: “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

    The uncertainty of these days causes us to examine ourselves to see where our security lies and from what source we are drawing life and hope and joy and peace. A family friend sent us a wonderful quote along these lines, from Spurgeon: “God is both a wall and a well to his people, a wall to guard them from their adversaries, and a well to supply all their needs out of his ever-living, over-flowing fullness.”

    If ever there is a time for us to turn to the truth of God’s Word for our lives, surely it is now. Many of our friends are coming to grips with the fact that their view of the world is proving insufficient for the peculiar challenges brought on by COVID-19. Christians are not immune to the virus nor to the anxiety that sneaks up on us in the early hours of the day. Jesus told His followers that they would face tribulation and isolation but at the same time assured them of the peace that was found in Him. Although we can’t gather in large groups, we have the opportunity to engage in conversation, either face-to-face (six feet apart) or on social media. Let’s not miss the chance to give an answer to anyone who asks us for a reason for the hope we have, and to do so with gentleness and respect.

    Habakkuk

    We planned some months ago to offer Anxiety: Knowing God’s Peace as one of our book recommendations in May. I think you will agree that it is timely. Let me encourage you to consider getting two copies—one to keep and one to pass on to a friend or work colleague.

    Do keep in touch with us and let us know how we can support you. Thank you for the way in which your prayerful generosity makes it possible for us to make the Gospel widely known. Some of you have written to me in light of the death of dear Derek Prime. Perhaps I will say something of this next time, but be assured that I am touched by your thoughtfulness even as we are together grateful for his example of one who ran the race to, as the title of one of his books puts it, A Good Old Age.

    On behalf of the entire team and with my love in the Lord Jesus,

    Alistair Begg

    Anxiety Knowing God's Peace

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