I spent yesterday at a meeting of denominational leaders. For the most part, it was an encouraging time.
During one of our breaks I spoke to a long time friend and person whom I respect very much. As we caught up on each other’s lives and talked about the future of the American church, he asked a penetrating question.
He wanted to know, “Is anything working?” His question came in the context of a conversation about government, church, schools, and the world in general. “Is there any institution that is working?”
When you ask that kind of question, it’s fairly easy to become discouraged.
Yet, I feel tremendously blessed.
In the midst of such discouraging headlines, what is there to make me or you feel blessed?
First, I am blessed by my transformation. I am constantly amazed at the good things God has brought in my life.
It’s important for you to understand that I’m not talking about reformation or about my desire to be better. I am talking about the change that God makes in people’s lives.
I have often quoted a young woman in the Salvation Army who said, “I’m not all I ought to be but thank God I’m not all I used to be.”
That describes why I am blessed. When I opened my life to Jesus Christ, He began His work of change. I have been tremendously blessed by God’s work of transformation within me.
Second, I have been blessed by the community of people around me.
My friend and I discussed the people we met with yesterday. They, too, are not all they want to be, but they are a truly different kind of people. They are characterized by love, joy, peace, kindness, and gentleness. Those attributes describe the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We all know no church is perfect, but if we’re honest we all know that each church is different from a sad and hurting world.
I am tremendously blessed to be a part of the body of Jesus Christ.
Third, I am blessed to do something larger than life.
God has allowed me to be a part of something worldwide, life-changing, and eternal.
I get to be a part of God’s kingdom, and I get to labor for God’s purpose.
I am blessed to be involved with something that changes the world.
Are you discouraged about the future? Don’t be. God is at work. He is bringing everything to a grand finale. God can be trusted. Depend on him.
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