between a rock and a hard place

Double-mindedness! There’s a lot of it about just now.
And I’m hearing of people who don’t want to get the coronavirus vaccine, but who are being cajoled into compliance by their friends and family.

Your heart says ‘No!’
But your head (and those around you) say ‘Yes!’
Such dilemmas are not unusual.

For example: according to the 1997 Belfast Agreement, as a citizen of Northern Ireland I am free to claim British nationality, and I am free to claim Irish nationality.
(Perhaps the best of both worlds?)
But you can’t sit on the fence forever: it’s just way too uncomfortable.

And now we have Brexit (and a phantom border in our Irish Sea).

  • Previously I could be fully British, and I could be fully Irish;
  • Now, I am not quite British, and I am not quite Irish;
  • I am not quite out of the European Union; and not quite in it;
  • I am neither all here, nor all there!

As the people of Hong Kong can tell us, this in-between status can’t last forever.

It is conceivably just a matter of another election or two before the Nationalist voters have procreated a majority over the less prolific Loyalist voters, and Northern Ireland will democratically move to being a Province of Ireland again.
It’s just matter of good breeding, I guess.

May this dilemma of nationality sort itself peacefully.

A similar sort of dilemma situation is facing us with our reaction/overreaction to coronavirus, and facemasks, and vaccines.
I know a lot of confessing Christians who have eagerly queued up to get their vaccination, and wouldn’t dare leave their house without a facemask.
Yet, at the same time they profess to put their trust in God.
I understand the facemask argument: I’ve written about that previously, (there are strong arguments for a Christian to wear a facemask), (and there are strong arguments for a Christian not to wear a facemask).

Please don’t get me wrong: I do not intend to judge anyone, nor do I mean to make anyone feel weak in their faith. (I want to encourage and inspire.)
But, either you put your trust in God, or you put your trust in man.
Because trying to trust in God while trusting in man, isn’t trusting in God.
(You can’t turn to God for healing while you’re planning your own funeral – this is double-mindedness.)
You are either a believer in God’s word, God’s blessings, and God’s promises; or, you are not.

I accept that the word of God’s contains mysteries that have yet to be revealed to me; but I believe that the word of God is truth: every God-breathed word of it.
When God’s word clearly states that I live under his cover of protection – I truly believe that!
Should I select this or that Bible verse because it fits in with my lifestyle; but reject the next verse because it conflicts with what I want?
God forbid!
In defiance of this season of imposed fear I confidently declare that my protection is founded upon these words of truth from Psalm 91:-
Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

The 1997 Belfast Agreement was the beginning and the end for Northern Ireland:-
The beginning of an era of bumpy peace;
The end of bombings and murders and riots and violent sectarian hatred.
I am grateful for the Belfast Agreement.
I am pleased that my children have no firsthand knowledge of those things that I grew up to consider as normal.

Perhaps the future state of Northern Ireland is inevitable?
But your state of conviction should not be in doubt when it comes to placing your trust.
Do you believe what you are being force-fed by the media; or do you believe the word of God?
Do you put your trust in facemasks and vaccines; or do you put your trust in the word of God?
Do you trust politicians and scientists who are clearly muddling their way through things?
Because: You can trust in God

Don’t be wishy-washy.
Don’t be double-minded.
Don’t be a waverer.
I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me and heard my cry.
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. [Psalm 40:1,2]

What does the word of God say about wavering?
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) [Hebrews 10:23]

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.  For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  [James 1:6]

What does the word of God say about being double-minded?

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.  [1 Kings 18:21]

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. [Matthew 6:24]

He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.  [Matthew 12:30]

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spue thee out of my mouth. [Revelation 3:16]

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.  [James 1:8]

The future is rather uncertain for Northern Ireland.
The future is rather uncertain for most of the world in respect of man-inspired restrictions designed to control viruses.

However, the future is certain with God.
Through Jesus, you can enjoy peace, even though Jesus warned that you will be persecuted for following him.
When you face criticism, mocks and insults for doing what you know in your heart is God’s will, do not waver, do not be double-minded; rather, remember these words from Paul’s letter to the believers in Corinth:-

We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours.
Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed.
At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option.
We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us.
We may be knocked down, but not out.
We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.
We consider living to mean that we are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. 

[2 Corinthians 4:7-11, from the Passion translation]

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