It Won’t Be Like This Forever…

Christmas Hope

From hospital rooms to the counseling room, I spend a lot of time with people who are suffering. Indeed, suffering comes in many different forms – physical, emotional, and spiritual. Over the years, I have learned to be cautious of the confident, smiling face. Behind many of those big smiles hides a hurting heart.

I don’t know about you, but I feel so inept when meeting people in extreme pain. I struggle with what to say. Yes, I know, just me being present, offering a kind word, and praying with them (and for them) is sufficient, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way. I wish I could just take all their pain away! But alas, I cannot.

When I feel especially inept at comforting the sorrowing, I always turn to Scripture. The Bible obviously speaks to us, but did you know that it often speaks FOR us? Yes, when we don’t know what to say, God does! God knows, God cares, and God speaks to those who are suffering and wrestling with darkness, depression, and disease.

What does He say to them? What does He say to us in the midst of our pain?

Hebrews 13:5b, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” God isn’t distant from our pain, He is near and He isn’t going anywhere!

Psalm 46:10a, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Since God will never abandon us, we can rest in Him, knowing that He is working for our good; and He really can work for our good! How? Why? Because He is God and we are not.

Revelation 21:4, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” What hope! It won’t be like this forever. One day, all of our suffering and sorrow will expire because God Himself will do away with darkness and death – pain and suffering.

As we get ready to celebrate Christmas tomorrow, let’s remember that God is with us and for us. And, one day, it won’t be like this anymore…One day, we will (by grace through faith in Jesus) experience eternal joy and life as we rest in His magnificent presence.

PFBC: January’s Upcoming Events

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Can you believe it? January 2020 is nearly upon us! A new month…A new year…A new decade! Wow. Below is the projected path forward for all of us out here on the prairie…

Wednesday, January 1 – Annual Reports Due!

Sunday, January 5 – Communion Sunday, Restart Mini-Series, and Food Fellowship/Annual Meeting (10:15 AM); Corporate Prayer (6 PM)

Wednesday, January 8 – Kids4Truth (PJ Night) and Outfitters (6:30 PM); Prayer Meeting (7 PM)

Sunday, January 12 – Membership Class #1 (9 AM); Restart Mini-Series (10:15 AM)

Monday, January 13 – Women’s Prayer Group (10-11 AM)

Tuesday, January 14 – Men’s Prayer Group (6:30-7:30 AM)

Wednesday, January 15 – Kids4Truth (Dress Like Your Favorite Book Character) and Outfitters (6:30 PM); Prayer Meeting (7 PM)

Sunday, January 19 – Membership Class #2 (9 AM); Sanctity of Human Life Sunday/Baby Dedications, Matthew Series (10:15 AM); Growth Groups Relaunch (Various Times)

Wednesday, January 22 – Kids4Truth (Silly Sock Night) and Outfitters (6:30 PM); Prayer Meeting (7 PM)

Sunday, January 26 – Membership Sunday and Matthew Series (10:15 AM); Growth Groups (Various Times); Leadership Team Meeting (2 PM)

Wednesday, January 29 – Kids4Truth (Mustache Night) and Outfitters (6:30 PM); Prayer Meeting (7 PM)

Friday, January 31 – Saturday, February 1 – Jr. Freeze Out at IRBC!

Lessons Learned On Our Adoption Journey…

Adoption

My wife and I are currently engaged in the process of adoption through Faithful Adoption Consultants, a consulting agency based out of Georgia. Needless to say, the process of adoption is a long and difficult process. This difficulty comes in many different forms, to include: a mountain of paperwork, a thick price tag, and a lot of tiring emotions. But, it’s worth it. Why? Because life matters. Life is precious. Life is valuable. Indeed, my wife and I long to hold our fourth child, our adoptive child, sometime (Lord willing) in 2020.

Below are three things I have been immensely reminded of during this hard, but beautiful journey of adoption…

  1. God can change hearts. My wife initially proposed the idea of adoption very early in our marriage. I quickly shot it down. I wasn’t trying to be mean or insensitive, but adoption simply wasn’t on my radar. It wasn’t a part of my plan for my life. Little did I know that my wife was praying for me. Never underestimate the power of a godly wife praying for her husband! God used my wife’s prayers to change my heart by first changing my mind. God made it abundantly clear (through a series of events played out over many years) that my life really isn’t my life (it belongs to Him) and thus “my plan” for “my life” is irrelevant. In the end, I was the one who restoked the conversation of adoption (earlier this year) with my wife. You read that right; I was the one who reintroduced this topic of conversation into our marriage. My wife didn’t pester me, guilt trip me, or nag me about adoption; she simply prayed for me. And over many years, God changed my heart and is allowing me the wonderful joy of leading my wife in this process.
  2. God always provides. The paperwork is daunting, but God always provides. The financial price tag is high, but God always provides. The emotional roller coaster is exhausting, but God always provides. Our God is a provider! When the paperwork is overwhelming, He provides extra energy and a wonderful guide (Jason through Faithful Adoption Consultants) to help us. When the financial price tag seems too high, He provides a little boy from church who literally put two quarters into my hand one Sunday and said (with excitement), “Pastor Dave, it’s for your adoption!” When our emotional tank is running on empty, He provides us with exactly what we need, when we need it. Our God always provides.
  3. God adopts. This whole process of physical adoption has provided me such a beautiful picture of my own spiritual adoption into the family of God. Indeed, physical adoption is such a beautiful picture of the Gospel. Passages like Galatians 4:4-5, which states, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” And passages like Ephesians 1:4b-5, which says, “In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ…” have come alive to me in powerful ways. That God would reach down and save me, adopt me, and love me…Wow. What grace! What mercy! This whole process of physical adoption has helped me to relish my spiritual adoption into the family of God in bigger and better ways. Indeed, I like what David Platt says about the process of adoption, “It is important to realize we adopt not because we are rescuers. No. We adopt because we are rescued.” Yes, rescued by God, and adopted into His family, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ…How precious it is that our God adopts us.

Please continue to pray for me and my family as we walk this adoption pathway. It is hard, and it is long, but it’s so worth it. Indeed, our child is out there somewhere, we just have to work hard (by God’s good grace) to find them.

The Gospel: A Short Animated Video

Bible Project

From Our Friends at the Bible Project: “Gospel” is one of the most common words in a Christian’s vocabulary. But what does it mean in the original languages of the Bible? In this video, we’ll discover that “gospel” is a royal announcement about Jesus, who is the crucified and risen King of the world who overcame death with his love…