One of the reasons we exist as a church is to help people become "fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ."  We firmly believe that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God and the standard for living.  We also believe that God's Word speaks into every part of our lives.  As a result, we work hard to provide a wide variety of classes, seminars, small groups, and opportunities for spiritual growth.

Throughout the week, small groups meet both on campus and in people's homes.  To learn more about openings in our small groups and to plug in, click here to e-mail Pastor Joel.  Many of our small groups break for the summer, so you may need to wait until September!

The Blessing of Adversity

Posted by Joel Plantinga on June 28, 2013 @ 5:04 PM

Nobody likes adversity.  I would imagine that very few of you wake up in the morning, despite the promise of Romans 5 (the one that suffering eventually leads to blessing) crying out in your prayers "Oh Jesus bring it on today!  Let's see what kind of adversity we can have!"  Nobody WANTS to walk uphill into the wind when it comes to life.

And yet, adversity DOES present a golden opportunity for spiritual growth.  Let's face it: when things are going well, we tend to put things on autopilot and cruise through life.  But when things get tough, we have to dig deeper and in the Christian life, reach to God for strength and wisdom to get through the trial.

About four weeks ago I had my Achilles tendon resected and re-arranged.  Through the recovery time (which is still ongoing), I have lost a lot of independence, endured some significant pain, and realized how much I've taken for granted simple things like climbing stairs and walking.  I'll be honest in saying that it's been a tough time!  I was ready for the physical problems.  But I had no idea how depressed I would feel at times and how worthless I would feel at others.  I praise God for an amazing wife/kids who keep me smiling and a great church family who has prayed me through that.

And yet as I look back, I've found myself in deeper prayer.  I've experienced more praise and gratitude over the small things.  I've been more thoughtful of the plight of others, and have tasted the grace and restoration of God through it all.  While I wish I didn't have to have a major tendon lopped off to get all that, I've found goodness in my adversity.

So what are you facing today?  Maybe instead of praying it away, you can ask God to walk you through it to show you something new about Him, you, or the life He wants you to have.  The Bible tells us that He uses ALL things for good for his called people, right?  Let God redeem the pain!

-Pastor Joel

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Make sure to stop by the Information Center after church to see what books are available to be checked out of our expanding collection!

 

For any questions on things related to opportunities for spiritual growth, please e-mail Pastor Joel or call the office at (661) 266-3400.

 

We have an ever-expanding collection of podcasts of messages that Pastors Ned and Joel have preached.  Click here to check out the Media Center!