When you find yourself in difficult situations, do you believe that even the hardships of life are for your good or do you think that it’s just bad with nothing helpful to gain?
Often, we can say that God is good all of the time but still expect that God will bring badness into our life. As if God doesn’t really love you he just loves bringing trial into your life. The Apostle Paul described to the Christians at Corinth the type of disasters he was experiencing. He alluded to the troubles that they would experience and then he wrote, “All of this is for your benefit.”
Look for what God is doing. See the situation as Jesus would see it. God promises that every situation will work for you. That doesn’t mean that every situation will be comfortable or happy for there is going to be some terrible experiences in your life. Yet God promises, through his love, that every situation you’ve been in will work for your good because of his goodness for you. We all go through things that are challenging in the moment, and later on we look back and say “hey, that actually did something for me!”.
Listen as Casey encourages us why and how God’s love is experienced through bad situations. God doesn’t expect you to walk through difficult situations and act like it’s not difficult. Let God know your frustration. Let God know your doubt. Ask God to show you how the difficult problem will work for your good. No matter how he answers you, the answer will always include his loving reminder, “Trust me and hold on to my hand tight. This will benefit you.”
When Jesus died, the disciples found themselves sad, confused, frustrated, and feeling like they lost their leader. Even though Jesus told them that he would die and rise again three days later, they didn’t feel ready for his departure. They all grieved the loss of their friend and they did it in different ways.
As Life’s Journey continues to grieve the loss of our friend, Pastor Rod, we can be encouraged by the disciples’ story.
You will continue to hear that we must all pray for wisdom and trust that the Holy Spirit will show us a way forward and remind us of all the things Jesus taught just as Jesus promised the Spirit would do. This is what the first disciples learned to do. They walked, face to face with Jesus Christ, but they too had to learn to trust that God is good and that he is always in control. Rod’s death offers us the choice to implode with sadness or to hold on tighter to Jesus and learn more of what this life’s journey is all about. Since there is now a void in the full time pastoring of this church, it’s time for all of us to be willing to disciple one another, to step out and stretch our faith as God works through all of us during this time.
Scripture references: John 20:1-14, 19, 26; John 21; Matthew 26:31-35
When the Israelites left Egypt they were a people united with a common vision and following one leader – Moses. The first time in some four hundred years, the people of God were a people with renewed purpose and led by one, chosen leader. Moses led God’s people for nearly four decades and he was the first dedicated leader than many of them ever had. And then he died.
After he died, God spoke a wonderful truth about Moses. God called him “My servant”. The people found themselves without a leader, yet God held the plan and God wanted the Israelites to continue with the vision he gave them through Moses.
The Life’s Journey congregation may feel like a people without a shepherd, but we are reminded that God is the leader and he is the true shepherd. As Life’s Journey begins the process of finding a new senior pastor, we know that God is with us where ever we go. Be encouraged as Casey reminds us that God sets the vision and we will continue with purpose, strength and courage if we are willing to listen and move just as Joshua and the Israelites learned.
When you feel you are surrounded by the enemy, open your eyes and see that God surrounds the enemy!
When a servant came to the prophet Elisha and cried out in fear because the enemy army had the city surrounded, Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes.” The servant then saw horses and chariots of fire on the hills surrounding the enemy.
Whether your enemy is a group of people threatening physical harm or the fear of shame and rejection, turn to God and look at the situation through his eyes. God wants you to know that he chose you and had a plan for you before the foundation of the world and that Jesus is for you.
In Pastor Rod’s last sermon, he reminds us that God is big and Christ is powerful. God is forgiving, God is powerful, God is in control, and God is love. He loves you. He will uphold you. He cares for you.
Open your eyes and see the presence of God around you and know, when Jesus is your master, the power of Jesus lives inside you. When you know what God wants you to know, you’ll see what God wants you to see.