So says the apostle Paul to the Philippians, "My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus". This is a pretty definitive statement, isn't it? Paul doesn't say, "Perhaps he will", or "Maybe if you're good", or even "Let's hope for the best". No, there is a surety in his words, both in the fact that God will and that he will by a particular promise of a sure thing . . . his Son.
My own problem is in my mental response, "Bill, do you really believe that?" As I sit here in my office, wondering about the future (hey, next week!), listening to the prognosticators & prophets proclaim, "Woe is us", and then matching this against the words from Scripture, I wonder . . .
Last week I attended a meeting of all the private school heads in Delaware. Obviously, the focus of our meeting was on the economy, education, and how the two would become one in these "strange days"? There was quite a bit of angst in the room over the days ahead and the state of private education in our area. Then one administrator said, "Hey, perhaps this is a time for us to really take a look at what's truly important in what we are doing?" Bingo!
A dear friend of mine from years passed used to always say, "In all conflict there's opportunity." While this is timeless in its wisdom, it is significantly true for this time. What may be more like a 21st century believer's creed, I would like to state what I believe about these "opportunities" in light of the times in which we live . . .
- I believe that these days are going to be ripe with opportunities for the body of Christ to stand as a light in a world that is searching in the dark, looking to others that are also in the dark, and grasping for answers with no, or at best temporary solutions.
- I believe that the church, the home, and the ministries to young people are going to unite in a way never before experienced in our lifetimes, as we will be forced to work together in order to maintain our relevance in the world.
- I believe that Christian education will blossom afresh in these days. As more and more folks echo, "Hey, perhaps this is a time for us to really look at what is important, particularly as it relates to our kids . . . all the kids!
- I believe that there will be a "uniting of the Spirit, in the bond of peace" that will be unparalleled in recent history, as the body of Christ is challenged to stand together as a testimony to the "oneness" of the hope to which we were called.
- I believe this time will cause our whole society to re-examine and re-order priorities and life-themes. We who "name the Name" will be called to stand in the gap as that living moral, social and economic compass.
- I believe that Christians will be called to extraordinary giving . . . not out of our abundance, but to sacrificial giving. While the world pulls back, hoards, and safeguards, we will give. It will be giving out of the call of our faith, out of the need to give, and out of our responsibility to help those people and ministries who need it.
- I believe that the world around us, as they look for that light at the end of the tunnel will see our light along the way, living and pointing to the One that meets ALL our needs. While the sun and rain rise and fall on both the righteous and unrighteous, our response to them is what sets us apart . . . (read Matt 16:1-4).
- I believe our young people need to believe in these things as well. Who will we allow to teach them these eternal truths? I believe the cord of three strands will not break, even in difficult times.
When Mrs. Stevens and I were working in the Christian schools in Eastern Europe, the Christian folks in Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Poland, and Slovakia all expressed it so well. When we would ask them why they were so committed to the Christian education of their children, they would answer, "Bill, we do not want what happened to our generation to happen to the next one!" As I listen to the news, read the paper, and talk to folks, I hear a lot of anxiety about the state of our Union. Then, I hear those words, "What opportunities await us who believe that God will meet all our needs according to his glorious riches!" You better believe it.
Bill Stevens: Headmaster, Wilmington Christian School (Hockessin, DE)