We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body

2nd Corinthians 4: 8-10

 

Beloved,

There are so many things happening in our nation that it is easy to become overwhelmed with emotions that range from sadness to anger and even a sense of helplessness. It seems as though we are in a never-ending cycle of violence, and every time that we hit what we think is the bottom, we discover that there is another lower level. This sense of ever-increasing defeat is not limited to our nation, rather it is a feeling that may manifest in our personal lives as well.  There are times when our lives seem to be characterized by the occurrence of one bad thing after another. There are times when we feel as though we cannot handle one more thing. This feeling is natural, but fortunately we serve the God who is supernatural.

When these feelings arise in us, not only do we not want to face our own problems, we also don’t see any way possible to do anything about the issues affecting others. This space of helplessness and defeat is the space the enemy would love for us to stay in. When life is feeling overwhelming, we must avoid isolation, engage our issues with prayer and purpose, and seek where we might be of benefit to others. These steps will remind us that we are not in life alone; we have been intentionally connected by God to the people in our lives. I challenge us all to trust God in every circumstance, to seek His lesson for us in these seasons of life, and to place ourselves face to face with the reality that God’s grace is still at work in our lives.

In short, when life is overwhelming, we are to remember that God is still keeping us, and His presence is always with us.

In Him,

Pastor Nathaniel Wright



Expect the great, but be clear about it

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.

Ecclesiastes 4:9

Beloved of God,

There are many types of relationships that a person will have at any given moment. All relationships are work, and when you are willing to do the work that each one requires, life and purpose become more meaningful. For some of us, the struggle of relationships is a matter of our expectations. Often, our relational expectations are: misguided, unrealistic, or unspoken. When this is the case, we end up being frustrated with people who haven’t met our poorly matched expectations.

A key to healthy relationships is having clearly conceived and clearly explained expectations. Having clear expectations allows you to understand the role that people play in your life, and it will allow you to stop forcing people to fulfill an expectation that doesn’t match who they are in your life. This practice of clear expectations will also allow you to set up boundaries so that people who aren’t designed to meet a specific need stay within the parameters of their particular relationship with you. Ultimately, when people have an understanding of the expectations associated with relationship, they are empowered to help one another succeed.

Today, think about your relationships: What is expected of you?  What do you expect of others?
 
In Him,
Rev. Wright


Gratitude for Relationship

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Genesis 2:18

Beloved of God,

We cannot escape from the reality that God has created us to be connected to people. The weight and role of relationships in our lives and in our walk with God cannot be underestimated. Think about it. What would your purpose be without people?  Who would you share the Gospel with? Do you have a gift if there are no people with a need or appreciation for it? God understands that we need one another to fulfill His plan and path for our lives.

In Genesis chapter 2, we are given a glimpse into the creation of humanity, and we see how God responds to Adam who is by himself. God notices that even though Adam has all that he needs and has an assignment (to name animals) there is still a missing component to his existence. Adam had a relationship with God and an assignment but was lacking connection with someone who was like him. He needed another person. Adam did not need a spouse necessarily, but He needed companionship. It is through our connections that our calling and our gifts are confirmed. It is through these connections that God’s ultimate care for us is displayed. God could have been selfish and decided that the only interaction that Adam needed was with Him, but God wanted Adam to experience relationship.

For all of the “go it alone” saints, let Genesis 2 remind us that it is not Godlier for us to be alone, rather we should be thankful for everyone that God has blessed our lives with.

In Him,

Pastor Wright



Making Connections Count

“23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.”

Psalm 37:23-27

This psalm is a wisdom psalm, and the central message is to encourage the people of God to maintain patience in times of trouble. Undoubtedly, we can all look at our lives and see how the Lord’s hand has guided us to where we are now. There may have been some challenges, obstacles or stops that we would have preferred to avoid, but God saw value in the journey that He set your life on.

A more subtle aspect of the text that I would encourage us to pay attention to is the people that we meet along the journey. I realize that the text doesn’t mention people, but has there ever been a stop along your life’s journey that didn’t have people attached? I submit that the people that God has assigned to our lives are as ordained as the steps that He assigned us to take. God connects us to people for a variety of reasons, and we must grow to a place where we see our human connections through a spiritual lens. This way we can identify those that we are called to pour into and not have the expectation that they pour into us. We can identify where we are supposed to get our encouragement from, and that will keep us from being disappointed when others, not charged to give us encouragement, do not provide it. Perhaps most importantly, we will be able to discern what Kingdom purpose God wants us to fulfill in the lives of the people that He has ordained to us.

Our challenge is to make our connections count and to seek the reason that God has ordained those connections as a part of the details of our lives.

In Him,
Pastor Wright