February 11, 2018: Deeply Known and Deeply Loved

Preached by Casey Kluver (00:41)

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.”

Scripture references: 2 Corinthians 4:8-18

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July 23, 2017: Waiting on God on the Edge of the Cliff

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Preached by Evan Stewart (00:42)

We are often told in the Scriptures to “wait on the Lord”, but what does that mean?  What does that look like?  King David wrote many psalms that reflect a lifestyle of waiting on God.  Also, the famous story of Job provides deep insight into an attitude of waiting.

The story of Job is often used as an explanation that bad things happen to good people under God’s supervision and control.  But his story also teaches the why it is important to always wait on the Lord.  Although Job never cursed God to his face, as Satan wagered he would, Job did stand on the edge of the cliff of despair.

Job experienced a turning point in his faith that each of us will come to.  Under the weight of affliction Job cried out that God was good to him yesterday, but today he is not. He reached the point where he began to believe that God had stopped being good to him.

Maybe you’ve stood on that same cliff.  If you haven’t, know that even the smallest of trials can take you there.

What God wants us to know is that while times are good we must dwell on the truth that he is good, loving, faithful and strong so that when times are bad we can cling to that same truth.  Waiting on God means learning to be still in order to see the goodness of God around you.

Scripture Reference: Psalm 27, Job 29:2-6, 30:9-10 and 19, 38, 40:4-5 and 42:1-6

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December 11, 2016 – Acts: When The Rulers of the Land Persecute the Good

Preached by Rod Benner (00:42)

As the church grew from twelve disciples to thousands of believers, they met persecution from many groups.  At first, it was the religious leaders of the community.  These leaders were concerned that this new teaching of Jesus of Nazareth was full of error and leading people away from the one true God.  They started by warning the Christians to stop preaching the gospel, but when the Christians continued to spread the good news of God the religious leaders became more violent – even to the point of murder.  As the church grew in size and influence in spite of the religious persecution, the government leaders began to take notice and oppose Christianity.  In the same manner, in order to appease the ruling parties of the community, the civil government began to arrest and even execute Christians.

Where is God when good people are persecuted and killed for doing what He commands?  Just as the first church learned, so must we; God is right here and active.  Even when faced with persecution and death, the power of the Holy Spirit continues to go before us and accomplish exactly what God wants to be accomplished.  Our job is to stay close to God and walk with Him through the trials and tribulations taking the good news of Jesus to whomever will listen.

Scripture References: Acts 12

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