This has been a very exhausting and difficult week we just went through. It has been very emotional, as well. What touches us most is the passing of our brother in Christ, Allen. We will miss him. We also completed our Gospel Meeting, and I believe we have profited by the efforts we put forth, as well as the opening of our hearts to receive the word of God.
But where do we go from here?
As much as it hurts, we must know that life goes on for the rest of us. We have been thrown down and seemingly trampled upon, but we need to get up, and continue. We have a job to do. We must live so as to let our light shine. It is good to hold on to some memories, but everything else needs to be left behind. We need to move forward. In Exodus 14:15 we read: "Then the LORD said to Moses, 'Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward". Two of our many human problems is to dwell in the past, or find a place of comfort and just stop. As Christians, we must be ever diligent in our growth, and the adding of qualities to our lives that help us mature and be better Christians. We may have pride in some of our accomplishments of the past, but what we accomplished needs to continue to be accomplished in our spiritual lives. The apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13,14 "Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus". The goal of the prize is heaven. We should never stop trying to attain such a goal. As Christians it is our duty to not only go to heaven, but to take people with us. We read of the Ephesian church in Revelation 2 about how they had championed the Lord in many ways, but they did that in the past, the problem for Ephesus is that they had left their first love. They lost sight of the goal, and were resting upon their laurels. They were told to remember their first deeds and continue in them, otherwise, judgment would fall upon them.
This week, the following article came across my e-mail. Perhaps it was just fate, but maybe the providence of God brought it to me. The writer has hundreds if not thousands of these daily devotionals, and this one is very appropriate for now.


"And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Lk. 22:44).

Devotion To God During Times Of Difficulty Presents Some Special Challenges: -- There is, of course, a sense in which it's easier to seek God when we're beset with problems. (Indeed, times of crisis are only times that some people seek Him). But in another sense, it's harder to love God with any warmth of affection when our circumstances are such that He seems far away. What should we do about our devotional life when we're passing through some ordeal of suffering or emotional barrenness?

As much as possible, we should hold on to our regular daily times of devotion. Doing this is not easy, as we all know, but it's important to try. Difficulty, especially tragedy, almost always involves a disruption of our regular daily schedule. But if, for example, we normally devote ourselves to a few moments of prayer at the beginning of each day, it's important to try to maintain that habit even on the hard days. When crisis makes an appearance in our lives, if we can hold on to any semblance of our usual devotional discipline, it helps us to meet our challenges in a stronger way.

We should not forget to be grateful. Simply because we, at a given moment, may be experiencing something of the bitterness of life, that does not mean that God is not still on His throne, ruling with benevolence and grace. Even on our darkest day, there is still much more to be thankful for than there is to regret. During painful times, it's especially important to try to maintain our perspective and recognize that our pain is not the whole truth about life in the world (or even our own life in the world). We need to given thanks to God every day, and not just on the pleasant days.

We should persevere. The fact of the matter is, God is never far away from us. Not really. It's just that we feel like that at certain times. At those times, we must make up our minds to maintain our faith and obedience, knowing that seasons of spiritual dryness and desolation are only temporary. In time, the feelings that we want to have about God will return. Meanwhile, God is still God! Even when our feelings waver, our love for Him must not. ------ Gary Henry.

The great thing about all this is that we do not have to go it alone. We have each other to help and support. Some need our support in a very difficult time in life. Some need our support to begin a Christian journey. Some need our support to realize they need Christ in their lives. We all need each other in so many ways. So let us move forward together.

By Carey Scott

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