September 3 2018
We have talked about gratefulness for and to God, family, friends, and the church body. I want to finish this series on gratefulness with “gratefulness for hard times.” This one is not an easy one. James 1:3-4 says “count it all joy, when you suffer various trials, knowing the testing of your faith produces endurance. Let that endurance have its perfect work; that you be complete and lacking in nothing.” If you turn back just a few pages in your Bible you come to Hebrews 10:35. It says “do not throw away your confidence, for it has a great reward.”
It is never easy to go through hard times. I have told you about a few things in my life that have been hard, and indicated that this very weekend two years ago I walked through the most difficult time I have every experienced in my entire life. Time doesn’t actually heal all wounds. But the greatest news I know, is that Jesus promises that He will never leave us. His hand is the one we have to cling tightly to in order to walk strong through it all no matter what.
Yesterday I went to see one of our long-time members that might not make it through the weekend. Today, I went to see another long-time member that might not have much longer to live on this earth. I came back and called a man’s wife that are members here to see how her husband was doing walking through the cancer that he has. Just this week, there has been three major, heart-breaking situations for those that are walking through it. A few weeks ago we had a funeral for a nineteen year old guy that went to sleep and didn’t wake up.
How in the world can we be grateful? This is where the faith, confidence, and trust in the Lord has to be the greatest. We have to trust that all of these things have a greater purpose than our finite minds can grasp. It is hard to see these things from an earthly perspective. We must have the mind of Christ and His perspective to say thank you to the Lord for the hard times.
Just never easy!
I am, and I want to encourage each of you, to pray that God gives us a view from His point-of-view.
This week we celebrate the great love of God through several wonderful songs. During the Sports/Fine Arts camp, we sang part of a Rend Collective song that seemed to rise to the top. This week we will sing it as a full church-body. It is titled “My Lighthouse”. I can’t promise I won’t do the motions we learned to it…lol. We go way back and sing a song “Your Grace is Enough.” Charlie Best takes the lead on a song that the choir will sing titled “Do the Impossible” by Travis Cottrell. “What a Beautiful Name It Is” has become one of our favorites that can lead us deep to His heart. For offertory, the praise team and I will sing the brand new song by Michael W. Smith “Surrounded”. Then we end with “Jesus Paid It All”.
I will see you Sunday.