Anyone who knows me or who has read this blog will no doubt have detected that the last few weeks have been hard. They have provided challenges both personally and in terms of church. Here’s the question, when that happens why do we keep on going?
It is the big things, absolutely. It is knowing the gospel is true and is the only hope of the world and knowing that the church is God’s strategy to reach the lost with the gospel. It is knowing we are not outside of the Father’s will, that the Spiritual battle we are in, and feel intensely at the moment, is not unique to us and that Christ wins and provides everything we need to endure. It is knowing that our Father is sovereign and running to him and finding welcome as a child. It is all of those big theological things, yes, a thousand times yes.
But one of the biggest positives this last week has been the small encouragements, don’t despise them because they matter. To be greeted by a brother on Sunday morning with a renewed and expressed commitment to the church and an offer of a coffee, a listening ear and prayer was a God send on Sunday morning when preaching felt daunting and the church felt fragile. To be able to gather with another churches elders who listened, expressed care, love, and partnership and prayed was another God sent encouragement. A card from a mentor expressing his care and prayers at a distance when he is facing struggles of his own was another God sent encouragement. The card this afternoon from a church member expressing her thanks for our service, her acknowledgement of how we potentially felt and her love and support was another great God given encouragement.
Don’t despise the small encouragements.