Discouraged? Take Heart!

Last week I talked with a friend who serves in the north 1/3 of Alabama in a different denomination.  He was down because on their annual renewal Sunday they had more people renew their membership than ever before… then the next Sunday they had the lowest attendance ever!  He went from “Cloud 9” to questioning their commitment and his call… in one week.  Been there… done that… have the T-shirt.

What happens in life (And Church) is in God’s hands… 100%.  When it comes to life, vitality, and future viability… they are all in God’s hands.  Our life’s events, circumstances, and situations are in God’s providence.  He does as He wills among the hosts of heaven and the inhabitants of earth (Dan 4:35, Heb 6:1-3!).

The important issue in life, and church, is summed up in three words… Obedience To God.  That IS success!  When anything good, positive, or beneficial happens in either realm, it is because God willed it for His glory.  The same is true during barren times… difficult days… and hardship.  Otherwise God isn’t God.

Consider the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37:1-10.  It was because GOD breathed life into the bones that they became a mighty army.  When we are blessed… it is because GOD chose to bless.  If we aren’t… that’s God’s will also… and doesn’t change one bit that God is still God!  Nor does it change the fact that He is to be rejoiced in… loved… worshipped… and glorified!  “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away… blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21).  “Shall we accept from the Lord good and not evil?”  (Job 2:10).

PLEASE THINK BIBLICALLY!!  “These light and momentary afflictions are laying up for us treasure in heaven beyond compare!”  Since that is true, it is unbiblical to poor mouth… be bitter… angry… and/or frustrated with what God is doing for His glory… RIGHT?!  It reveals an immature heart toward our Lord if we don’t rejoice in the midst of hard days when we suffer in this world (James 1:2-5).

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