The Pastors announcement was met with stunned silence, followed by the sound of muffled tears from various areas of the sanctuary. Unexpectedly, the Lord had called him to move on to a new ministry at a different location, and his entire family was planning to relocate within a month.
Questions whirled through the minds of the congregation. Why now, when they were finally moving ahead under his leadership? Who could possibly replace him? What would happen to the church?
Some became instantly bitter, feeling as though they were being abandoned. Others were so attached to the Pastor himself that they decided their only option was to leave, as well.
One couple digested the news with somber silence as they returned home that day. Having been drawn to the church because of the Pastors energetic and caring personality, they had quickly become involved in several areas of service, and now felt as if their world was being turned upside down.
Discernment enabled them to realize that their Pastor was, indeed, following Gods leading, and they knew that to focus too much on one man was detrimental when the focus of a Christian should always be on Jesus. After praying and discussing the impending change, they decided to remain faithful to attending their local church unless God were to lead them specifically elsewhere. That decision gave them a gentle peace and the motivation to continue serving within the congregation regardless of what the future might hold.
Being faithful during times of uncertainty is a greater challenge than most would care to face. Imagine the young mother who has just been diagnosed with cancer. How easy it would be to grow angry with God over the possibility of leaving her small children motherless! And, what of the elderly man who faces his twilight years as a widower, when the woman he called his bride for forty years has just passed away. Can he find the strength to be faithful even through devastating loneliness?
Even the Lord, Jesus endured mental agony when He faced the betrayal of His friends and silent rejection from Father God. Yet, He remained faithful. The reason is found in Hebrews 12:2. "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
He knew the joy that was to come! Although he prayed to be spared from the torture he was about to face, he realized that what came later would be worth it all.
Obviously, as the Son of God, His resolve may have been a bit stronger than yours or mine. However, we have also been given a glorious promise! 1 John 2:25 says, "And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life."
It is inevitable that we will all face trials as we journey through this earthly life. It is not until we have completed our days on this plane that we will see that glory. Hebrews 6:15 "And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise."
"What about in the meantime?" you may ask. Proverbs 28:20 tells us, "A faithful man shall abound with blessings." And, we read in Psalm 31:23, "Oh, love the Lord, all you his saints: for the Lord preserves the faithful, and plentifully rewards the proud doer." When we are faithful, God is faithful!
Are you uncertain about your path? Read the guidebook He left for you. Look ahead to the promises that will be ours if we are faithful. (2 Peter 3:13) "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness." Endure, by Jesus example, because of the joy set before us!
Whether uncertainty comes for a moment, or hangs around for months, let Hebrews 10:23 be permanently inscribed into our minds and spirits. "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."
Copyright L.Joy Douglas