Dear Christ Church,
This Sunday we continued in our series called “Reimagine Church” and we took some time to reimagine a church where you don’t have to have your stuff all together, and it is ok to not be ok. It is ok to say you are weak, because the church is meant to be a community of strength.
As Americans, we don’t like the idea that we need anybody. We celebrate our independence and autonomy. However, the Bible describes Christians as members of Jesus’s body, which is the church. And so a disconnected Christian is not a strong Christian, but as susceptible to decay as a hand that is severed from the body. Being connected to a local church is how we are meant to draw strength. Not strength that comes from ourselves, or even each other, but strength that comes from reminding one another of who God is for us.
When we are tempted to fear by what is happening to us we need to remind each other of who we have that is for us.
1. We have a God of absolute power
There is nothing that is before him and nothing that will outlast him. He contains all things and has power over all things. There is nothing that happens to us that is beyond him.
His power is not just a statement that he makes about himself, but proof that is given through Jesus’ resurrection from the grave.
2. We have a God who knows us
God is not removed from our struggles, but intimately acquainted with them. He is our father who cares about the tears of his children.
You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? (Psa 56:8 ESV)
God also knows our suffering through his own personal experience. Jesus knows knows what it is to be betrayed. He was sold out to death through the kisses of a friend. Jesus knows what it is to be slandered and face injustice. He was falsely accused by religious leaders who unjustly demanded his execution, even though he had never done anything wrong. Jesus knows what it is to feel pain. He was beaten until he didn’t even look like a person anymore and then spikes were driven through his feet and hands and he was left hanging on a cross to die. Jesus knows what it is like to suffer evil. On the cross a terrible exchange took place as Jesus let go of his purity and his righteous and took on our sin. The most evil and vile things that we have done, that have been done to us and that this world has done were put on Christ as he became sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus is described as a “man of sorrows and one acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). God knows us personally and he personally knows what it is like to go through sufferings.
3. We have a God who knows the future
God knew what this church was going to go through in specific detail. He knew the what, when and how. There is nothing that is outside of God’s knowledge. What this means for us is that when God makes a promise, He doesn’t just hope for the best. He knows He will keep His word, because He knows the future. Therefore, His promise is a guarantee.
4. We have a God who redeems our suffering
When God says that he tests us, the test is not for him. He already knows all things. He certainly doesn’t need a test to find out what’s inside of us. The test is for us, so that we might know the strength that we have in him. As we go through suffering, God never wastes our suffering, but uses it to show us the strength we can have in him.
5. We have a God who put an end on suffering
Because of what Jesus has accomplished there is a day coming when all suffering will cease. For the Christian, there is an expiration date on all our suffering. This life is as close to Hell as we will ever get.
Questions to talk about with your friends and family:
How can you be (or here’s how I can be) tempted to fake strength.
Knowing this (one of the five points about who God is) really helped and here’s why.
How can we grow together in strengthening one another?
Grace and peace,
Facebook Jeff Boettcher