In a recent post I wrote about times when our world is turned upside down, and how we need faith in God to get through the tough times. As I was writing that, I was thinking of how much I, as a pastor, have to deal with bad news: people’s loved ones dying, folks undergoing chemo, others with financial problems or the risk of losing their job, a loved one suffering a heart attack or stroke, a child severely injured in a freak accident, someone’s relative missing. In addition to other’s people’s trials, I have my own issues, plus the state of our country and the world is discouraging. How do I keep from getting depressed by all this?
My faith in God helps me to get through all the bad news, mine and everybody else’s. My faith is based on the hope I have of a better life after this one. We are on this earth for a brief time, and while nobody likes trials and tribulations, my faith tells me God is with me, and this won’t last forever. Sadly, we invest so much of ourselves in this brief life that we can easily become overwhelmed by it. While in this body, I believe we should invest more of ourselves in God for three reasons:
(1) God created us to have a relationship with him. Ignoring God means we aren’t fulfilling our main purpose in life.
(2) When we have that relationship with God, God will help us through the tough times. We won’t be immune from them, but will be better able to get through them.
(3) Earthly relationships last for a short time, while the relationship with God lasts for eternity.
While I am generally an optimist, my personal opinion is that things in this country aren’t going to get better anytime soon: economically, morally, religiously, and leadership. Now, more than ever, is a good time to turn to God. Get back to church or synagogue, start your day with prayer and a daily devotional, read the Bible. Remember, you don’t need all your questions answered to establish a relationship with God. You don’t have to be perfect to walk into a church (God loves you just the way you are, but loves you so much that he’ll improve you when you are open to his leading). Don’t be afraid to check out a variety of churches so see which one seems to work for you. God will guide you, just as he guided me.
I was away from the church for many years once I left home. Through some trials in my life, I came to the realization that I needed God. So I started checking out local churches in the town where we lived. The Lord made it obvious which church he wanted us to attend, and he will for you as well. I know a nice church in Beacon, NY, if you want to start there.