Pastor's Blog 

Welcome to our blog.  Each week (give or take) we will publish a blog, which will also feature in the church's "weekly news".
 

 

ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER…

…for the good of those who love the Lord.

We know it is true – though as we navigate situations and circumstances that hurt we can seem to be a long way from this being realised.  We can get to the point of simply not believing it any more – because we can’t see the good.  We can’t see all that God is doing.  But we still contend with circumstances, so it can seem as if God is remote.  We may even question whether he is there, or whether he really cares for us.

Joseph was put through a fair bit.  Sold into slavery, thrown in jail – wrongly accused.  It must have felt desperate.  It must have been an ordeal – but while he was waiting, God was working.  And situations changed to the point that Joseph was released and elevated to the position that meant he could help the same brothers who had wronged him so many years before.

When we studied the purpose driven life at the start of the year we reminded ourselves that even the tough days are days of discipleship of growing in God. “All things work together for the good of those who love him.”  It doesn’t mean all things are themselves good.  It means that  all things can be used, can be exploited, can be re-woven by God – so that good will ultimately  emerge.  Ultimately – in God’s timing.

And so we, like Joseph, are left needing to trust in our God.  Through the toughest situations, the hardest times we have to hold on to Him.  Whether that’s family, work; whether it’s a virus or relationships.  Whether it’s of our own making or inflicted upon us – our best hope, our only hope, our perfect hope is in God.

Max Lucado puts it like this: “You’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick. But God will use this mess for good. In the meantime don’t be foolish or naïve. But don’t despair either. With God’s help, you will get through this.”

Chris

12/07/20

 

INDEPENDENCE

This weekend is the weekend that Americans celebrate Independence Day.  They finally broke free from colonial rule by the British.  That was in 1776.

It would be the 20th Century before the idea of “Empire” was finally dismissed – and Britain stopped being a colonial power with many other states gaining independence – though many nations remain closely linked, especially through the “Commonwealth”.

Independence is applauded.  As nations, the right to rule themselves is taken for granted.  It is something that is celebrated.  And that’s absolutely right.  Empire building came through pride, presumption and greed.

But even “independence” – taken too far – becomes an extreme that is dangerous.  It is true for nations – the pride in your own country can turn to arrogance and intolerance of others.  But it’s also true for people and for churches.

Firstly and most importantly, we need to realise our dependence on God.  To try to be independent from him is to ignore the reason we were created in the first place – to have a relationship with God.  We need to realise who we are in him.  Our identity is in Him.

We also need to realise that God didn’t mean for us to battle alone – not only do we have him, through his Holy Spirit, but we also have each other.  While we shouldn’t place our dependence wholly on other people, neither should we be totally independent.  Perhaps we should be co-dependent on God together. God invented church – we are supposed to be a people standing together, united in the faith we have in Jesus Christ.  Dependent together on His grace, his hope and his love.

Don’t try to be independent from God.  We need him.

Chris

05/07/20

 

NOAH - TRUSTING IN GOD

Noah had a really raw deal.  Or so it seemed.  He must have felt doubts somewhere along the line, building a boat when there seemed to be absolutely no need for it.  He heard God’s command – and He acted on it.  And kept on acting on it.

And then of course, there was the amazing spectacle of animals arriving to embark.  And finally it rained.  The fulfilment of the direction God had given.  Noah and his family were saved.  Only of course that needed for them to stay in the ark for all of the time it rained.  Forty days and nights it rained – but Noah was in the ark for longer than that as the water had to subside.

He had to stay the course.  Now in the ark, he probably had precious little option but to stay there.  He had to put himself entirely in God’s hands – and trust in Him.  The timing was not Noah’s to control.

What are you facing?  Do you feel in control – is your sense of control an illusion?  Perhaps it’s time to realise that it’s best when we put ourselves into God’s hands.

Trust is difficult. Every time we put our trust in anyone we take a risk.  Human beings let us down.  God doesn’t.  Now we know life isn’t always what we hope for – and sometimes we can’t really explain it.  But it’s always better with God than without.  And He knows our destiny – he shapes our destiny.  His plans for us are eternal.

Noah trusted God.  So can we.

Chris

28/06/20