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Keep Up the Good Work

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 (NRSV)

Kara Lloyd lives in Illinois. One evening as she tucked her eight-year-old soon, Brent, into bed, she sat by him as he began his prayers. Then she kissed his forehead, stood up, and began to walk from his room. When she turned off his light, Kara heard Brent say, "Night-night, Jesus, Keep up the good work." Kara scoffed and thought, Ha! What good work?

The past few days had been hard. A kindergartner from their school district had died. Her aunt was suffering from cancer that had come back. Her students were wearing face masks while sitting six feet apart, and Kara was losing faith in her country and its leaders more and more each day. Keep up the good work indeed!

But Brent's prayer and her reaction stopped her short. She loved that Brent was encouraging Jesus. She didn't love her negative attitude toward a loving Jesus who has never forsaken her. Taking a moment, she considered all that she has and gave thanks.

We are to give thanks in all things - the joy and the sorrow. That night Kara thought of the hurt, the people around her who were grieving and scared, but she let herself rejoice in the good too. She rejoiced in all the many victories that Jesus has seen her through, and she followed Brent's example. "Yes, Jesus. Keep up the good work."

Prayer: Dear Jesus, continue to be with us, and shower us with hope and joy even when our hearts are heavy, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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