Some of you missed me last Monday and some of you didn’t even notice that you didn’t receive my “weekly update.” That’s ok, I love you all the same 🙂 Last Monday, I spent the day at LCBC in Manheim for an all day conference with Andy Stanley (pastor in Georgia, son of pastor Charles Stanley). About 30 pastors from the Atlantic Conference of the BIC attended the day’s event. Personally, I was challenged in my thinking about how I present the Word of God and how to walk in love to the degree Jesus calls us. It was a great day all around!
After my day “out” on Monday, I was back in the office working on the start of our new sermon series for yesterday. Habakkuk is a book most of us have never read, or at the very most, only glossed through once. Yet, within these three short chapters, a lot of challenging, thought provoking conversation takes place. Yesterday, we looked through Habakkuk’s first “complaint” to God and how God challenged Habakkuk with a response. There are days when it is hard to praise God and we saw that bearing our raw emotions to God is just as good some days.
What we didn’t get to dig in to too much was the “why” of complaining or, if you prefer, sharing our real emotions. When we come before God in honesty and transparency, we can lay all of the burdens and worries done at God’s feet. Once that load is relieved, it is then that we are freed up to feel full of praise, thanksgiving, and prayers. It’s not that the burdens are gone…specifically when we’re talking about violence and injustice as we did yesterday. It’s just that we are less concerned with them as we focus more on God. In those moments, when our focus is entirely on our Creator, He often speaks into the issues we came with and calls us to action. So the “equation” goes something along the lines of 1) Bring your burdens to God, 2) Having been lighten of your load, freely worship your Creator, 3) In the midst of the peace and joy of spending time with God, hear His voice and call in what you can do for Him to address the situation, and 4) Go and make an impact in the world for God within the context of the issues on your heart.
Peter would say it this way… “Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
So go praising God this week in everything you do! Even when the days seem dark, God is there!
In Christ Alone,