From Steve’s Desk:
Sometimes we are hit square in the gut with our mortality aren’t we? This past week, I received word that a dear friend of mine has brain cancer and has a very dim prognosis. At any age, this is terrible news. News like this hurts and challenges our faith, doesn’t it?
In the past months, we have had brothers and sisters in our congregation, members in our families, and friends in our community who have experienced such horrible news and who are undergoing trials of illness, disease and death. This brings pain, sorrow and loss home when it affects those we love. What do we do in the midst of these life-shattering situations? Do we question God? Sure we do! Do we ask why? Naturally we do! I think it is important for us to work through our pain and emotions and seek God. Questioning God is still a conversation with Him. Talking with God is what we should do. Seeking God is how we find our answers. What is most crucial in our weakened faith is that we do not remain in our doubt and fear. We need to strive to believe and trust that God is with us.
John 14:1 states “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” These are the words of our Lord and Savior. In midst of our troubles He is telling us to believe!
There is a precious old hymn entitled, “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” The first verse of this song talks of how sweet it is to trust in Jesus. It encourages us to trust Him and to take Him at His Word. What He says He will do He will do! The end of the verse states, “…just to rest upon His promise…” To find peace and comfort enough to find rest in His promise to always to be with us, to never leave us, and to come back for us. There is truth in Jesus promising to never to leave us and it is found in what He has left with us, a part of himself, as a gift of himself.
John 14: 16 states, “And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.” We are not alone. This helper is God within us. It is Jesus’ promised comforter in our time of trial to give us peace and rest in spite of what is going on around us. He has given us a counselor to help us discern the right and the wrong; to see through the lies and deceit.
The horrible things in the life do try to steal our faith and shake it’s very foundations. In our coping and overcoming, it is important that we try not to find reason because there may not be a reason why, but we can always find hope in knowing that God is with us and He will never leave us. So, in our weakness, His Holy Spirit can make us stronger. His Spirit can hold us and carry us. With His Spirit we can over come.
So in our weakness of faith, what then shall we do? The song mentioned earlier end with these words, “…O’ for grace to trust Him more.” God’s grace not only covers our sins, but also covers us in our weaknesses. It is ok to feel weak, but just don’t remain there. Let God’s strength overcome our weaknesses.
I wish that no one else had to experience the horrible things of this life. I wish I could change it, but I can’t – but remember the one who can. He may not change the outcome, but he can see us through it.
In Romans 15:3 is a prayer of Paul to us, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Also read Romans 5:1-5 – Our sufferings brings perseverance; perseverance brings character, character brings hope!
My friend, mentioned above, is schedule to undergo surgery soon with an unknown outcome. Though the prognosis is grim, her hope is great! She has already been a witness to me. Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus!