Community

CHURCH CORNER: We’re not alone during these hard times

Bad news, seems like nothing but bad news on the TV and in the newspapers right now. I heard a psychologist say that for a good night’s sleep people should not watch the news after 6 p.m. And just when the economic and political news just about make you crazy, there’s an earthquake on the East Coast which, according to your political persuasion, is being called either “Bush’s Fault” or “Obama’s Fault.” Ha, and this morning there’s a Category 4 hurricane headed for the North American continent that’s going to give a lot more people a hard time. Hard times; by all standards, these are hard times.

Ray Charles said it best:

“My mother told me, ‘fore she passed away

Said son when I’m gone, don’t forget to pray

‘Cause there’ll be hard times, Lord those hard times

Who knows better than I?

Well I soon found out, just what she meant

When I had to pawn my clothes, Just to pay the rent

Talkin’ ‘bout hard times, Lord those hard times

Who knows better than I?

 

I’m a Christian, guess that’s not a surprise, I know that the Scriptures say, “Be anxious for nothing” (Phil. 4:6). I’ve always loved that verse but often have a difficult time living it out. Maybe I’m the only one. But sometimes the circumstances that come our way are just hard.

A while back I had a businessman in my office whose business was at an all-time low and he thought he’d lose everything he’d worked for. Too often now, I talk with young couples who are having their homes repossessed. Most recently I participated in a memorial for a young man killed in a freak accident leaving a young widow and three small children. Hard times, man, for many people these are really hard times.

It shouldn’t be such a surprise to us for Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33b). Even Paul, the great apostle, knew what hard times felt like. He said, “there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me” (2 Co 12:7-8).

But I think Longfellow had it right when he wrote, “God is not dead, nor does he sleep.” We are not alone in our sorrows or suffering. Paul finished his phrase about not being anxious with, “in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” And Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14:1).

For me, God’s response to Paul’s plea gives the answer. He said to Paul, to us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness‚“ (2 Cor 12:9).

Grace, God’s unmerited favor, is the answer. God knows and cares about all of our sorrows and pain. I read somewhere that God never wastes a tear. I believe that with all my heart. God’s promise is that all these things will work for the good of those that love him and are called to his purpose (Rom 8).

I was in a worship service recently and heard a song written by one of my favorite song writers. His words brought tears to my eyes and hope to my heart. I pray it may help some of you who are in hard times.

“We came wounded through these ancient doors

Starting over, like a thousand times before

We went to war with songs of glory in our hearts

Now here we are in pieces

Falling apart

We came wounded through these ancient doors

To find new strength, Sing new songs

And be surrounded by your Grace

so amazing, Faith unveiling

Hope exploding in our souls

We sing Holy, Shout Hosanna

Hallelujah, Lord of Lords

We come into your courts with praise

Compelled by your unfailing grace

There’s a light still shines in these tired eyes

Hearts still beating through the chaos of our lives

We came weak and poor and lost and rich and strong

Broken but unconquered

Give us grace to carry on

 

We came wounded through these ancient doors

To find your strength, To find new hope

And raise one voice to praise your

Grace - so amazing, Faith unveiling

Hope exploding in our souls

We sing Holy, Shout Hosanna

Hallelujah, Lord of Lords

 

We come into your courts with praise

Compelled by your unfailing grace

 

Grace So Amazing”

 

Words and music by Bret Holtz

(c) 2011 All Rights Reserved – used by permission.

 

Keep the faith! Remember we’re all in this together. I’m praying for you.

By Ross Holtz

The Summit

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 17 edition online now. Browse the archives.