What I am going to share with you today is not meant to be a pity party but to help us deal with some of the things that confuse us as well the things that hurt us deeply. To be able to have perspective when we have questions or when we have big burdens can only be an issue or better yet a blessing that faith brings.
James 1:2-4 NASB
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
I read an article a week ago and then had a conversation this week about Pastor David Cho who has led the largest church in world that is in Korea. Recently he was convicted of misusing ministry money. It had to do with something like insider trading. But what burdens me is the fact that this great man of faith made some bad decisions that have led many in his church and people around the world to question God. Pray for Pastor Cho, his church and others like them in other places.
This week I walked in to the hospital room of a toddler who has been very sick for the last few weeks. His mom, her boyfriend and myself talked for a few minutes, and I prayed with them before I left. Today we learned that Brenton, this 18 month old little boym has leukemia. He doesn’t deserve the pain and the struggle that is ahead. I’ve been praying for this family and will continue. Pray for Shelley and Brenton.
Cancer is no respecter of persons. It springs up often in the lives of people around us with no reason to why they are having to suffer. My heart breaks for a lady in our church and her family as she has been battling this disease for some time and recently found out things are getting worse. Pray for Catrina and her family
One of my closest friends walked in to my office a little over a week ago and told me one of his favorite friends had died. My friend and co-worker Scott told me about his mentor who lived past 100 years old and had spent his life giving away Jesus and teaching many people how to succeed with their passion to serve God.
In the last year there have been several deaths around our church family that tugged at my heart. One family lost their mom to heart problems. Another neighbor near our church that attended some but battling addiction was hit by a car and died due to the accident. This man was gentle and is missed by our community. Just a month later another man that attended our church died early one Sunday morning after dealing with a blood clot. And there were more. Pray for those who have lost family members and friends.
I got a text one morning from one of the ladies in our church because her daughter was having a strange problem with her eyes. This family was questioning and hurting, but her daughter is doing much better. Pray for Anna as she heals from this sickness.
Another person in our church sent me a message asking me to pray for them as they were battling depression and could hardly get out of bed. The next few weeks were difficult, but God gave them help. Pray for this special friend.
An email arrived late one night from one of our church family, and they told me their fiancé walked away from their relationship. It was unexpected and so painful. Pray for this couple.
Death, loss, sickness and pain. These are so real. They hurt, and the pain keep on going. Yet we can and must trust God to give us perspective in the middle of the trials we or others are going through.
Whether you are the one going through the pain or you know someone in the middle of struggle, it our blessing to be able to lean on God and help others do the same. The verses above talked about what we do with our faith during trials. It actually said “consider it all joy”. That ain’t easy, but it is right. It is only possible with God.
God loves people more than anything. Any of these situations lead to it being a sad day, but God is our hope and our help no matter the situation!
Psalm 46:1 NLT
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.