Troubles and Blessings

“…In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

-Romans 8:37

We are weary of the violence and hatred and killing. We are tired of politics and bitter rhetoric. And we are more than concerned over the direction our nation seems to be headed. So, what to do about it?

The Apostle Paul saw and dealt with a lot of trouble in his time—a harsh and unjust world Christians being persecuted for their faith, and of course, his own personal issues, as well. And yet, through his strong faith, Paul was able to affirm that God was still working for good “in the lives of those who loved Him.” No matter how bad things got, God was there, often behind the scenes, working to bring blessing out of our worst.

Often, this meant that God was working in our own lives to strengthen our faith, or, as Paul says, even that we would be conquerors over the troubles that beset us.

So, how can that be true in these times? And what can you and I do to make a real difference, if not out in the world, at least right here in our community? Yes, in some respects, we live in a place that almost seems like a “safe haven” from the mess we see “out there.” That is a blessing, as far as it goes. But even here, we know it is not perfect. We know there is plenty of work to be done, an awful lot of needs right here in this county. It is sad to me that over 65% of the children in our schools need to be on a “feeding pro- gram.” And it is sad that over a hundred young people were classified as homeless at the end of the school year (for many different reasons). It’s sad that The Sharing House has such a huge list of clients, a list that is growing every year…along with the services provided by The Haven and Bread of Life. And it is sad when one considers the state of health care in our state, or rather the lack of health care available to every person. No, our community has great needs, too.

But instead of just being sad about things, let’s consider doing something about it. Since Paul’s time, Christians have risen above the mess and worked for good in their world, often at great risk to themselves. Indeed, in a cruel world they were known “by their love.” What are we known for today?

In his letter to the Roman Christians, Paul understands the challenges of overcoming the world’s problems, but he also sees a starting place. And that is the faith that resides in the heart of every Christian. In and through that faith in Jesus Christ, we work to make our world a better place; indeed, we can become con- querors over the troubles we see.

Of course, that requires we put our faith to work by moving out of the pews and into our community, and by seeking and finding those places to serve. Talk to me and Lauren if you want suggestions. Bottom line is that we can make a difference…when we follow Christ. Are you ready? Let’s do it! Together!

In the Love of Christ,

Mike

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