Christ Our Victory and Inner Desire-19

Hope For Today – Encouragement From Our Pastors

 

May 26, 2020

O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand? Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die. Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall. But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.

Psalm 13:1-6

People say time flies when you’re having fun, but when things shift into a slower pace, life seems to move in slow motion. We often find ourselves thinking, “I don’t know if I’m ever going to get out of these circumstances.”

This verse contains a recurring question: “How long? How long?” David’s circumstances aren’t described, but he clearly feels forgotten and forsaken—a feeling we all can relate to.

To be isolated from human relationships is, without question, crushing, but what David writes of here is even more significant. He’s expressing a feeling of isolation from God, Himself. In his emerging depression, we discover that his perception, as is often the case with our own, does not reflect reality. What he feels to be true does not align with what he knows to be true.

The psalmist’s sentiment is shared by many of God’s people throughout Scripture. In Isaiah, God’s exiled people cry out, “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me”(Isaiah 49:14).  Many Christians —genuine followers and servants of Jesus—have occasionally felt like saying, “I believe the Lord has actually forgotten us. If He has not forgotten us, if He was still with us, how would we be in this predicament? If He truly was watching over us, surely we would not have to endure these trials.”

Christians, let’s not believe the lie of isolation that our emotions can feed us. We can find rest in God’s comforting response to His forgetful people: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me” (Isaiah 49:15–16).

God’s care for His children is like the sun: it’s constant. Even when the clouds obscure it, it’s still there. It’s always there.

Will we trust in God’s constancy today? Amidst our feeling forsaken, God looks at His hands, engraved with each and every one of our names, and He says, “There you are. I have not forgotten you.”

Pastor Jay

 

May 22, 2020

The power of fear and the power of love

1 John 4:16-18 New Living Translation (NLT)
16  We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.  17  And as we live in God,
our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face
him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
18  Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of
punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

Fear can arise in our hearts from the challenges that we face in life that loom bigger than we are.
In other words, we see no way of escape. That may well be how the disciples felt when they
locked themselves behind a door after the crucifixion of Jesus. John 20:19 for fear of the Jews.
Fear causes us to isolate ourselves. We chose to hide behind a locked door for fear of…The
verses that we are looking at today do give us hope for today. Do we know how much God loves
us? Have we put our trust in Him? Do we know that God is love? Do we truly comprehend that
when we live in this love we live in God and God lives in us? The Bible tells us that when we
live in the love of God our love grows toward perfection. In this way become more like Jesus as
we live in the world.

This begs the question, why is fear so powerful? How can fear rob me from the love that I have
when I am in Christ? How can the Word of God become truth to my troubled soul? Can this
perfect love of God really drive away the fear that plagues my soul?
This week I was reminded of these verses from a testimony that I read which came from a church
leader in Cameroon. Fear had plagued the heart of the outreach team when the outreach location
was changed from the one village which felt safe to go to another village which had political
unrest and fighting. Fear gripped the team with the thought of even going to that village. They
had the choice of going to their room and shutting the door in fear like the disciples did
following the death of Jesus. They also had the choice of going to their room and shutting the
door like the disciples did when they waited in prayer for an answer from God. Acts 1:12-14. In
prayer God showed this team that they should not fear but go to the village that had political
unrest. In obedience to God they risked their lives, people came to know Jesus and a church
began.

The current world events, national events, local events and our own home events give reason to
fear. We can be persuaded to lock our door for fear of what we feel is too big to be resolved.
Today the Word of God encourages us towards prayer when we shut our door as opposed to fear
when we shut our door.

In prayer we acknowledge to God who is love that we desire to live in His love and to grow in
this love which has the power to drive out my fear. Now this is hope for today. What will happen
behind your door today?

Pastor Joe

 

Praise and Worship

“10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord O My Soul)”

Worship Songs

Praise & Worship Songs for April 5