How are you? How is your week going? Has it been a difficult one?

Whether or not it has been, the truth is that we will have weeks that are difficult. We will have days that will be a struggle. We will have seasons that feel so dark and dreary.

We all go through trials. This is not a surprise to anyone, and it’s not a surprise to God. Scripture does not lie about it, nor does it water suffering down.

We are a broken people with broken lives in a broken world. And in the midst of the brokenness, God meets us in it, and He works through it.

That’s why James can say, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…” (James 1:2). We can count it not just joy but all joy.

How can we do this? It’s because we know what trials will do for us. They will produce steadfastness in us so that one day we may be perfect and complete.

That’s the hope that we have as Christians. We don’t pretend that our trials are easy. We don’t fake like we are happy when we are not. We don’t brush our hurt and pain away under the rug of our supposed joy.

No, we feel the pain. We feel the hurt. We feel the sorrow. We don’t deny it nor do we avoid it. God doesn’t want us to.

But the hope is that God meets us in the moment. God preserves us in the pain. God helps us in the hurt. We are not alone. And His promises tell us that He is our Good Shepherd who will never leave us nor forsake us.

And not only that, He will use these trials for our good. He will work all things out for our good according to His purpose. Through these trials, He will prove us and purify us. He will make us perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

We know that these promises are sure and true because of the finished work of Jesus. We know that our suffering is for our good and not for our punishment, because Christ took on all our punishment for our sin on the cross. We know that He will make us perfect and complete, because Christ took the imperfections of our sins for us on the cross. We know that we will lack in nothing, because Christ lost everything on the cross for us.

It’s through this gospel that we can hope. And it’s through this hope that we can count it all joy.

Cling to Christ today, whether or not you are hurting. Remind yourself of His promises and His presence. And may that give you everlasting joy. If you are hurting and need prayer, please reach out to a member, a leader, or one of us, officers.

See you this Sunday for our Lord’s Day Worship! Pray for one another and the Harvey Relief team! If you want to send them off, come out to the airport tonight @8pm!

In Christ,
Pastor Tim

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