Beloved Brothers and Sisters:
As I reflected on the kind of things going on in the individual lives of our fellowship, I realized that there are a lot of things that would bring discouragement, frustration, even hopelessness. I wish I could say that this kind of season was unique, yet Scripture is full of admonitions that life is full of trials, sorrows, and heartache. Scripture is also full of reason to have hope, contentment, even great joy in the midst of it all; Jesus Christ, the Son of God who became like us, to suffer like us; to suffer for us.
I have found that in the midst of struggles and uncertainty, the surest place to find hope and rest is in the knowledge that God is perfectly wise, perfectly able, and perfectly in control. Nothing is pointless, nothing uncertain; everything is working out for our good and His glory. I want to share a favorite poem / hymn of mine that speaks to this very truth in a way that encourages me even in the most uncertain times.
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.
Beloved in Christ, rest well in the sovereign plan of God. May we seek to live out that hope in each others lives in the way we love, serve, and build each other up in Christ.
In case you missed it
Sunday we continued our study of the book of Hebrews. Matt was faithful to uplift Christ by giving us Seven Ways the Son is Better than the Prophets from Hebrews 1:1-4. If you missed it, it is well worth your time to listen, meditate along with, and glorify Christ in. This week we will be continuing our study in Hebrews with a look at how Christ is better than the angels. Take time to read and meditate over the rest of Hebrews 1.
It was a blessing to hear about the power of the gospel to overcome strongholds of sin in the testimony of Chris. We were also exhorted with some helpful words to keep in mind in our day to day lives.
Our Scriptures to pray over this week are:
- Thur (1/23): Ps 66:18
- Fri (1/24): Rom 10:1; 2 Cor 10:3-5
- Sat (1/25): 1 Tim 2:1-2
- Sun (1/26): James 4:6
- Mon (1/27): John 17:1-25
- Tue (1/28): Ps 25:1-5
- Wed (1/29): 1 Thes 5:23
- Thur (1/30): Rev 4:8, 11; 5:9-10, 12; 7:12; 11:17-18
Our Scripture reading schedule for the week is:
- Thur (1/23): Gen 16:1-47:31; Matt 15:1-28; Ps 19:1-14; Pr 4:14-19
- Fri (1/24): Gen 48:1-49:33; Matt 15:29-16:12; Ps 20:1-9; Pr 4:20-27
- Sat (1/25): Gen 50:1-Ex 2:10; Matt 16:13-17:9; Ps 21:1-13; Pr 5:1-6
- Sun (1/26): Ex 2:11-3:22; Matt 17:10-27; Ps 22:1-18; Pr 5:7-14
- Mon (1/27): Ex 4:1-5:21; Matt 18:1-20; Ps 22:19-31; Pr 5:15-21
- Tue (1/28): Ex 5:22-7:25; Matt 18:21-19:12; Ps 23:1-6; Pr 5:22-23
- Wed (1/29): Ex 8:1-9:35; Matt 19:13-30; Ps 24:1-10; Pr 6:1-5
- Thur (1/30): Ex 10:1-12:13; Matt 20:1-28; Ps 25:1-15; Pr 6:6-11
With love and affection in Christ,