Welcome to GracePoint Church where we are committed to helping you take your next step toward better knowing and serving a holy God of grace and truth
I have asked Linda Opp to be the guest blogger this week. Thank you for your faithfulness each week.
Pastor Perry Kallis
In The Sound of Music, there's a line from the Mother Superior which is a little corny, but probably illustrates how she got to be Mother Superior. She says, “I always try to keep some faith in my doubts.”If you're an honest Christian and you flip that on its head, you might say, “I often contend with some doubts in my faith.”
No matter how long you've been a follower of Jesus, or how much Bible you know, or how good you are at prayer, there are times when the world collapses on you. Christians aren't immune. Life can abruptly go sideways – jobs, relationships, finances, and health can all fall apart. Some things resolve quickly, and some drag on painfully. The walk through deep waters can reduce you to a ball of stress. And that's just in ordinary times when life is normal, and you aren't walking around masked in order to dodge the plague.
We know the “right” answer to these crushing experiences of grief and disappointment. We're supposed to trust God. It's basic and simple, but a lot harder than it sounds.
That's partly because we approach trouble from the wrong perspective. We start with ourselves and our happiness. We're anxious for the good that everything is supposed to work out to because isn't that the promise of Romans 8:28? We are so fond of that verse but tend to ignore John 16:33, where Jesus promised we will have trouble in this life. It's a given.
God is working to bring good, of course he is, but often not in ways that make sense to us. We might not even be around to see the good when it happens. That's how it was for the heroes of the Great Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11), who lived entire lives of trust, waiting for God's promise, yet leaving this life before it was fulfilled. Were they duped? No. They trusted a trustworthy God.
A better perspective is to start with God and his plans. and to see ourselves as part of a great company of believers whose job it is to bring the light of Christ to the world. As Rick Warren so astutely said, “It's not about you.” Ouch. It's not about living a pain-free life; it's about letting God develop character and trust in you in spite of the pain. A battle-scarred believer, still holding on to trust, is a very effective advertisement for the grace and purposes of a good God.
Trust doesn't come without struggle, because we're human. The Psalmists struggled, laying out their fear and anger before God with shocking honesty. Even the Apostle Paul struggled with his thorn in the flesh, whatever it was, but it was serious, a messenger from Satan. God answered that his grace was enough because his power shows up best in weakness. Paul concluded, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12). To be more concerned about Jesus shining through the pain, than about the pain itself, is something only God can work in you.
In this life, we will always have unanswered questions, but we have a God whose plans for the world, and his bedrock commitment to his children, never change. We live in strange and frightening times. On so many levels we have no idea how things will turn out, but we know the ultimate ending. And that is enough. God is enough.
Upcoming Indoor Worship Plans
Our plan is to move indoors for worship starting on Sunday, November 8 and possibly sooner if we experience inclement weather. In the event of a rain forecast for Sunday morning, check our website, Facebook page, or newsletter on Saturday morning to get the latest news on our plan whether we will hold an outdoor worship service. When it is determined it is too cold/windy for an outdoor service, we will communicate our cancelation in the same manner. Regardless, we will always have Sunday’s sermon online which can be accessed via our website. As we prepare to go inside for worship, please review Pastor Perry's letter of invitation and the guidelines we will follow.