Every week at Shepherd’s Grove and Hour of Power, we begin our service by saying the Creed of the Beloved, in which we affirm that we are not what we do, not what we have, and not what people say about us. Honestly, if ever our ability to believe those words has been tested, it’s in the first half of 2020. In a season of lockdown and quarantine, many of us lost a great deal of what we had worked for years to build, and others faced huge disappointments in the wake of cancelled plans. That said, as we begin to pick up the pieces and attempt to move forward, I know a lot of us are feeling both scarred and scared, especially as the threat of the virus lingers. To address these very real concerns, I want to encourage you with the truth that the Lord is not finished writing the story of this season yet. While it’s hard to imagine what good could emerge from such an unsettled time, it’s important to remember that we serve a Savior who promises to restore everything that we’ve given up and give us even more, whether here or in the life to come. Job, who lost all his worldly possessions, loved ones, and relationships, yet refused to curse God, died an old man whose good fortune was restored with even more. Likewise, the Apostle Paul, though he gave up his position as a prestigious Pharisee, was called into the service of His Lord and gained a life full of miraculous power and adventures the likes of which he could not have imagined prior to meeting Jesus. Both of these men had to endure testing in the time of transition in order to move into the fullness of their God-authored story, and the same is true for us today.
My friend, what you are in right now is a time of transition, because the Holy Spirit is birthing something new in your life. Just as a baby doesn’t crown without the pains of labor, your next season is born through a time of struggle and a willingness to embrace the suffering that refines you. Even if you find yourself kicking, screaming, and throwing your fists up at God, His faithfulness will not be changed by your emotions, and He will continue working out His good plan for your life. Your Heavenly Father is all-sufficient, sovereign, and all-knowing; He sees the beginning from the end, and nothing can uproot His right course for your future. The renewal He is bringing forth today is one that points clearly to His power, glory, and goodness, and as you stay surrendered to His lead, you will be amazed by how He uses you to expand His Kingdom!