Grace Notes: Be a Glow Stick!
Dear Grace Family,
We’re closing in on a year that has been more challenging than most of us can ever remember having experienced. But when I really examine what’s going on, I realize that it’s not so much that the events are so extreme individually, but that they are so global and all-encompassing.
If I examine all that I’ve personally gone through since March, this is certainly not the worst that’s happened to me in my lifetime. But it feels that way because we’re seeing the whole world struggle with the same issues at the same time. You’d think that would make us unite, but instead we’ve allowed it to divide us.
That’s not on Covid-19, global warming, President Trump, the Democrats, Republicans or the news media. That’s on us. Where in the world did we get the idea that we would be able to just skate through our lives without trouble or strife? I can tell you where we didn’t get it – in the Scriptures.
Nowhere are we told that living for the Lord is a “get out of jail free” card. Our salvation isn’t insulation from disaster or a guarantee that our lives will be perfect. What it promises is comfort through our trials, stability and peace in spite of adversity, and joy at the end of our journey. It’s just hard to hang on to that when the storm is raging around us.
While attending to his dying wife, C.S. Lewis said “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
He is certainly shouting at us now. Our job is to shake off our fears as much as we possibly can, and begin to move in faith with or without that fear. The time has come to stop standing against the wall, hands wrapped around our heads, ducking away from the chaos. And now is not the time to give up.
In 2 Corinthians 4:15 we’re told: “These sufferings of ours are for your benefit. And the more of you who are won to Christ, the more there are to thank Him for His great kindness, and the more the Lord is glorified. That is why we never give up.”
Even though we may feel like all hope is gone, our salvation tells us that there is still something better waiting for us – a great ending to the story. Verse 16 goes on to say “Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day. These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won’t last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessing upon us forever and ever!”
I know it doesn’t seem small to us right now. But we need to keep our eyes focused on what’s in front of us – perhaps WAY in front of us – so we don’t get swallowed up in the mess and muck of the present. Because, while our salvation doesn’t promise us freedom from trouble, it does offer this in Verse 18.
“So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.”
There are three things that real faith requires: Feet, Fortitude, and Fruit. To make it through this journey we’ll have to start moving forward with determination and endurance. And though we may not be able to see the blessing – the fruit – we have to keep focused on the truth that it will be coming. If not in this world, then surely in the next.
When Abraham was told to leave his home and go into unknown and uncharted territory to receive his inheritance from God, he moved forward. He didn’t know what the future would hold. Hebrews 11 tells us he was willing to live in tents and wait for the “city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
We may not see the light at the end of this particular tunnel, but we know it’s there because it’s been promised to us by God. So while we’re waiting, let’s shout out to the whole world that something better is available. We can disagree on everything else under the sun, but we have to agree that now is the time to get that Good News to our hurting world.
Be blessed my Grace family, God is on the throne!
For the time, we are live-streaming our Sunday morning, 10 am Worship service on the Grace Community Facebook page. While we can’t meet together in person, we can still worship together! Please go to https://www.facebook.com/GraceCommunityFoursquareChurchMerced at 10 am every Sunday morning. There you can like the page, get all the news, and sign up for notifications of live-stream teachings and events.
Ladies Bible study is continuing on Zoom. You can join us on Tuesday night at 7 pm. For more information, please reach out to Pastor Bobbie.
- Thank you for your continued faithfulness in your tithes and offerings so we can maintain our ability to reach out to a needy world. You can give online here, or mail your checks to 3144 N G Street, Suite 125 PMB 308 Merced, CA 95340.
Sr. Pastor Eric Domen has a passion for his flock, and for the community of Merced and beyond. His strength and leadership are only surpassed by his generosity and passion to evangelize. He holds a degree in Counseling, and has a heart for the people of our community. Pastor E resides in Merced with his wife and children.
Pastor Bobbie Frye is our Administrative Pastor. She has been in ministry for more than 20 years, and is a 3rd generation Foursquare Pastor. She is a writer and musician, and takes care of Womens Ministries and Worship Arts. She has a background in Procurement and Marketing, in addition to her pastoral experience. Pastor Bobbie resides in Merced.