Pastor Conway's Sermon This Week
Last Sunday the sermon at church was – as always – a lesson directly from the word of God about Him. It got me thinking, I have no physical proof that the reason I am strong is because God is here with me. Anything good in me is from God. I don’t need proof. I don’t need it for myself anyway. I know it’s His strength that abides in me. I am really unable to understand how anyone can stand under the weight of this world without having a relationship with God. More and more every day I wonder how anyone can look around and not be depressed or grieved or angry. I know I would not be able to handle this world without Him. I do get depressed, grieved AND angry. What gets me past it, and through it is the hope that I have for eternity with God. All that said, maybe you don’t feel like you need Him and your life is great without Him. You don’t really need to read this blog post further. If you do read further, that’s fine but know this – God’s word never returns void. It might change you. If you do need peace beyond explanation and want to know you are loved eternally, here are some things right from the Bible God wants all of us to know:
Acts 4:11-12 11 He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone.12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
1 John 5:12 12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”
Joshua 1:5 No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you
Psalm 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Psalm 37:28 For the Lord loves justice And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.
Hebrews 13:5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”
John 14 14 “Do not let your heart be troubled; [a]believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
Listen and Trust
I’m in a waiting period. I think I'm listening carefully for what God wants from me but I’m not. I question myself also based on what the world’s expectations are of me. I believe that being in a waiting period can take a toll. I keep doing things thinking “Maybe this is what God wants.” Now God is telling me “Wait. You will know what I have for you when I provide it. Trust Me.” He already told me to wait. I didn’t really listen. To paraphrase Him – He’s saying stop guessing and know that I do what is best for my children.
I have been waiting for one year and eight months. But have I been waiting? No, not at all. I have spent more money on trying to start a new career over the last few months than ever before in my life. I got my real estate sales agent license in June 2015. Sometimes I worked more than 40 hours a week. I have not closed a single transaction. I have started my own business doing something I love to do; photography. I will continue to do that because I enjoy it and I have made a little money at it – but it’s not what He has for me. I won’t count on that as the thing God has told me to wait for. I usually have some idea of what is coming but I have very little information right now. I have been able to have surgery and go through the recovery period without concern for losing a job. I’m not going to guess that maybe He’s waiting until I’m fully recovered but it has crossed my mind.
Waiting is difficult for me because up until now, in everything I have worked hard, very hard, to provide support for my family and for myself. I started working as a babysitter when I was 12 years old. The moment I was the age for having a work permit, I got one and started working at restaurants. Eventually, I worked other jobs but I never had a time when I had no job. The point of all this: I’ve worked steadily all my life. I’ve worked hard all my life. By being without a job, I feel like I am doing something wrong. It’s against my nature. It goes against everything that I know. I’ve paid dues and more dues. Now, I’m out of my element, out of my comfort zone and not good at waiting at all. I feel like I need to work so I keep doing things and asking; “Is this it?” I have no green light but He doesn’t say no either so I think – oh, this must be it then. It’s not.
Last week, I prayerfully prepared a number of products to sell at a craft fair. I planned and prepared for hours and hours for a big day. In my own strength, while asking God to bless my work, I put many hours into choosing, printing and preparing photos and greeting cards. I said to God, “If I am supposed to be doing this, please let me sell out of one thing, be it small photos, large photos or my greeting cards.” God was very clear in his response. I sold one greeting card. One. That was the only thing I sold all day long. It’s not that the craft fair was slow. The woman next to me was selling her product hand over fist all day. I’m sure she did very well. I’m glad she did well. I got a lot of encouragement and praise for the beauty of the photos I selected but sold only one greeting card. I was crushed. I was devastated. It felt as if I was being punished. It hurt. God said, “No”. The next day I went to church. While worshipping – up in front of everyone – God said, “Don’t you know I love you”? In the songs we sang He said; “Don’t you know you’re my friend?” and “Don’t you know you can trust Me?” As I worshipped, the Holy Spirit surrounded me and comforted me and my tears spilled down from my eyes. As quickly as I felt the pain of my errors, I felt comforted and forgiven. And not so much forgiven as enlightened. I was enlightened to know that I needed to listen. He told me a long time ago to wait. Therefore, I need to wait. I need to trust. I thought I was waiting. I thought I was trusting. Now I know.
I have more to share based on yesterday’s sermon but for today, as I wait, this is what I am to do. Tell you about my story. I am to tell you that if God is telling you something that is simple, listen and trust. Don’t complicate it by saying, “Is this it Lord? Is this it Lord? Is THIS it Lord?” I am reminded of when children are on a long trip and they are asking over and over, “Are we there yet?” I thank God that He doesn’t get annoyed with me. He simply shows me that I’m driving myself to anxiety for no good reason. So I’m waiting but I sure do wish I could know what I’m waiting for. I will trust that He will tell me when He is ready – which will be when I am ready as well.
All photos on this site are the sole property of Bonnie and Craig Truscott. Do not use without permission. I will be blogging about our lives and other items that may interest you here.