Stonehaven Baptist Church this week

This week at Stonehaven Baptist Church our pastor Lewis Campbell shared the good news of God’s power in our lives when we choose him and don’t reject him. Receiving the hand that feeds us, not biting it.

We learned too of the difference between the ministry of the law and of the spirit. The law condemns us when we fail its rules and regulations, the spirit however provides us with transformation, redeeming us from our sinfulness. That’s not to say fulfilling the law isn’t a good aspiration, it is, but we can be comforted by the knowledge that when we do fail, and we will, we’re never beyond redemption. In studying the first six verses of 2 Corinthians chapter 4, we found four specific areas where God helps us in our plight when we struggle.

First, we’re not to lose heart. When things appear to be going pear shaped, hang in there, good will out. No error, faux pas or mistake is the end of the matter, be encouraged and don’t despair. Some may tell us ‘it’s all over’ when calamity befalls us in its many shapes and forms: separation, divorce, loss of employment, ill health, the list is endless. We can feel overwhelmed, but God finds a way to strengthen us, weaving his mercy into our lives as we, at first stagger, but then walk on.

Secondly, we’re encouraged to be open and honest with God when facing up to life’s trials. There’s nothing he doesn’t know about us, it’s futile pretending otherwise, opening our heart to him is in effect merely confessing what he already knows. But by doing so we share the burden, indeed we hand it over to him. Just as we should be honest with others, we should be honest with God, he understands us better than we understand ourselves.

It’s important to appreciate too that just as God exists, the devil exists. There’s a spiritual battle raging as the devil works to blind people from the reality which God unveils to us, that of his love through Jesus Christ. Illustrations may show an angel on one shoulder while the devil tempts us upon the other and this isn’t an inaccurate characterisation of spiritual warfare. God loves us but Satan seeks to steal us away from him, however, he who is within us, God, is much more powerful than he who is outwith us. God rescues us when we choose him. 

Finally we learned of the importance to proclaim our faith, revealing it to others. This doesn’t mean the purchase of megaphones for use upon street corners, rather, behaving in a manner laced by the grace of God. I, for example, was saved from alcoholism by a faith in God which I never previously had and I’d love to shout of his saving grace from Stonehaven Town Hall’s rooftop, but I’d get carted off by the authorities! Instead, I ask God to use me as his servant, to live through me, and while I often get it wrong when living without recourse to him, I trust that in the right moments God’s spirit will shine through my words so other addicts might discover there is a way out, through a belief in God’s power.

God will save you from your distress when you reach out and accept him. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock” said Jesus. We just need to answer that door and not leave it shut tight for a moment longer.