I pray that you and your family are well. These are very trying times for all of us, but I assure you, God is in this. Jesus is in the midst of this with us, whatever you are going through right now.
Not only do I know that God is with us through whatever we are going through, I also know that God is using whatever we are going through to shape us more into His image and who He has called us to be.
I believe that He is building His Church, and that we will see the Glory of God shine in these days. I believe He is drawing men, women, and children to Him. We need to trust Him, and give Him the praise and lift Him up in these days because He is working and moving.
Sometimes that is difficult to understand, and it takes an incredible amount of faith to believe that God is working, that He is present, and that He is using the circumstances we are in to draw us closer to Him, to make us more like Him.
Sometimes those things are easier to see because things are going well, life is good, and things are going our way, so it may not be hard for us to believe that God is good, and God is working.
Sometimes it takes an incredible amount of faith because it feels like the whole world is against us, the pain of the circumstances of life can feel overwhelming, the stress of life can feel crushing, and it is hard to believe that God is present, good, and working.
But He is. God is. God is working, God is present, and God is GOOD! No matter what season of life we find ourselves in.
Not only that, but God has a purpose for each season of life we experience: the good ones and the bad ones. Going through all of these seasons is part of what we experience as humans, it’s inescapable. But they all have purpose in our lives. As we go through the different seasons in life - difficulties, joy, peace, turmoil, pain, loss, stress, rest, happiness, sorrow, fun, work, abundance, having little, success, failure, community, isolation... all of it - God is teaching us, helping us grow in trusting in Him, and leaning on Him. Not only leaning on Him, but fully living in Him, trusting Him, praising Him, studying His word, serving others, loving Him, and loving others. No matter what season of life we find ourselves in. No matter what the circumstances around us are.
In living through and experiencing all of these seasons of life (the good, the bad, and the everything in between), God is actually helping us to become seasonless people. I don’t even know if seasonless is a word, but it is today. What I mean by being seasonless, is that there is no season as far as our relationship to God is concerned. We still experience the seasons and the difficulties and the trials of this life, but our relationship to Jesus is not subject to any of those things. We continue to grow closer to Jesus through it all because we have learned to look to Him in all things, at all times, in all seasons. Jesus is the one thing that never changes; He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
The Bible talks about these things, about Gods timing in Ecclesiastes 3. Verse 11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the Human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
That tells me I don’t always understand what is going on around me, but I know that if I don’t give up, and I hang on to His Word, I seek Him in all of my ways, God will bless that and use that in my life as He continues to mold me and grow me.
There is only one way that we will experience victory over all seasons of life: to go through each and every season and to learn to find The Spirit, the very presence of God, in all of them.
Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Church, there will be a harvest for our faithfulness in these times. That’s a promise from the Word of God. Hang in there, don’t give up, and let’s see what God will do.
We will continue to post services, bible studies, and worship here on our website, on our Facebook page, and on our YouTube channel which is South Bay Nazarene. I encourage you to continue to watch the services and be encouraged, but also, pass them around to your friends, family, and neighbors. This is how we invite people to church in these days. Share these videos on Facebook, and encourage people to tune in to our YouTube channel and website.
If you have any prayer request or any needs at all, please contact the church office. You can reach us through the website, by phone, or by email. Please be praying for our church families, our communities, our country, and our world. Please be praying for the Church.
You can continue to be faithful to the Lord through the giving of your tithes and offerings, either through the website (click the GIVE button) or you can mail your check into the church office.
God Bless you. I love you all. And I know I will see everyone real soon.
Pastor Josh Wicker
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