“Crises Reveal Our _________.”

It has been one year this month since the Covid-19 shutdowns changed the world. For women facing unplanned pregnancy, the compounded financial and health complications put a horrifying fear in the driver’s seat—a fear racing her straight to a reckless abortionist. 2020 meant women needed the Church acting courageously on her behalf more than ever. And like Paul hailing Epaphroditus for “risking his life” by exposing himself to sickness even unto death for the sake of the ministry, the Church through CompassCare has done the same (Phil. 2:29-30).

Crisis reveals where we place our faith. Everyone relies on someone or something when the stormy pressures threaten the sunny shores of our orderly existence. It is no different when fear arrests the life of a woman facing unplanned pregnancy, and the place she runs to buy her freedom back reveals where she places her faith. In a Herculean effort to reverse the metamorphoses overtaking her life, she seeks the quackery of a medicine man’s ritual called abortion, promising a kind of salvation. Yet, the fact escapes her that the mode of living she wants back is the very same that got her where she is.

Jesus says, “Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever strives to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will keep it” (Lk. 17:32-33). The only way for Lot and his wife to survive the coming destruction of what was once their life, was to turn their back on it all, following a wholly other way. Her misplaced faith cannot result in anything less than devastating decisions dropping like bombs on her soul again and again until there is nothing left but a life in ashes, and a warning for those who follow after. Lot abandoned his life in Sodom and Gomorrah and his life was saved. Instructively, Lot’s wife turned back and was destroyed (Gen. 19).

Jesus uses crises to reveal our misplaced faith, as we seek salvation by means other than Him. He allows crises to destroy any illusion of safety and security that our various contrivances provide us. Our house is revealed to be made of cards if the foundation upon which it is built is not the bedrock of God Almighty, the self-existing One. No created thing can keep us from the severe weather of this world; not government, not education, not a career, not money, not even medicine.

A woman at risk for abortion feels this crisis as acutely as you and I have over the last twelve months. But as those who have been enlightened (Heb 10:32) as to the mystery of the Gospel (Col. 1:26), we know that the medical condition of pregnancy is part of God’s plan to reorient her to Himself and toward her fellow man, including her own baby. Medical care is a useful tool, but not a savior. It does not tell us who we are, how we should live, or even what we ought to do with medical care itself.

Why subject ourselves to suffering? Paul explains, “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church” (Col. 1:24). Let us continue to take Paul’s invitation to Timothy to “join with me in suffering for the Gospel according to the power of God” (2 Tim. 1:8b). We must take risks for the kingdom of God, giving up our life for the sake of the body of Christ, for the salvation of babies and souls. This includes taking the risk of physical sickness. Like Epaphroditus and even Paul sharing the Gospel to the Galatians while he was physically ill (Gal. 4:13-14), the Church through CompassCare is committed to marching the Gospel on, no matter what.

As to the power of the Church when our faith for salvation is rightly placed in Jesus “the Christ, the Son of the living God,” even “the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Mt. 16:16b, 18b). Not only does Jesus expect the Church to engage a sin-sick and physically ill society enslaved behind the bars of Hades, He expects that we will overcome it. He expects that before the advancing Church, the gates will be thrown open and people clinging to the cliff’s edge of their existence will “mount up with wings like eagles” (Is. 40:30-31) by faith in Jesus.

Fear of death is no longer a factor in the decision-making equation for citizens of an everlasting kingdom, whose King defeated death. So it is that our faith in Christ allows us, even requires us, to run into the burning building of this world to “save others, snatching them out of the fire” (Jude 23). “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:28-29).

Gratefully erasing the need with you,

Rev. James R. Harden, M.Div.

P.S. Let us soldier on together, for the sake of God’s kingdom, for the lives of children and the souls of their mothers (2 Tim. 2:3; Jam. 1: 2-3).

“I’m so glad I came here today. I feel completely different about everything.”

Clarise grew up in a deeply broken home, the eldest of five with a drug-addicted mom who had several abortions. After taking care of her siblings as a young teenager, Clarise determined that she would do everything in her power to avoid walking down her mother’s path. In her early twenties, Clarise got pregnant. Believing she needed to own her actions and their consequences, she chose to continue her pregnancy. A couple of years later, when she became pregnant again, she decided to continue even though the pregnancy was extremely difficult. Read more.

2021 Walk Weekend – Save the Date!

Serve Women. Save Lives. Never Stop. The new Walk Weekend format is specifically designed to maximize church participation in any potential shutdown scenario. Join thousands of pro-life Christians on Friday, April 30 at the NEW online pre-Walk rally and then publicly express your passion in-person on Saturday, May 1 at Rochester’s Highland Park Bowl or Buffalo’s Delaware Park. Regardless of whether the cities cancel the in-person park event again this year, come what may the Church will find a way to persevere for women and their preborn babies. Read more.

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