He Makes All Things New

This has been a very productive past couple of weeks for me (March 2013). As most of you already know, I was able to add the title of “grandpa” to my resume. It was a very exciting and surreal experience as I held Reid Christopher in my arms for the first time being reminded of the great blessings that come from the Lord. But not every experience is as joyous as seeing your first grandchild come into the world.

I also had an opportunity to pray and fellowship with 20 to 25 hurting pastors, many who felt betrayed in more ways than one, searching for God’s leading as they strive to be obedient to the Word of God, experiencing rejection and isolation for their efforts. Many men and women, in the fight to live by God’s Word, are experiencing what it means to remain faithful to the Word illustrated in a phrase of the song, “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” which says, “Though none go with me, still I will follow.”

Jesus said to His disciples and all those who deny themselves, picking up the cross of Christ, “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Revelation 21:5 also declares, that the one seated on the throne of God, it is He (Jesus) who makes all things new. In the midst of betrayal and difficulty, tragedy and trials, the Lord will revitalize and renew, and remind us of His great love for us. If you are in a place of hurting, be of good cheer for God has overcome those things that would bring sorrow. He brings forth joy from sorrow, glory from shame, acceptance from rejection, and NEW LIFE from death, resurrection from the grave, JESUS MAKES ALL THINGS NEW; the core message of Easter Sunday (Resurrection Day).

Be blessed and be grateful.

Pastor Chris Hayden

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Midst of the Storm

We are coming into storm season here in the Midwest, which can mean more warning, alerts and watches for bad weather.  I know a lot of people are terrified of storms, while others actually chase them.  I guess I’m somewhere in between.

Where is God when a storm is happening in your life?  When it seems so dark that you can’t tell what the future might hold?  Where is He?  1 Corinthians 10:13 reminds us that He still holds us in His hands, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

He’s right where He was before the storm happened – sitting on His throne high above the storm.  Just like the sun will shine again after the natural storm passes, likewise, God will be seen when the spiritual storm passes.  This is something that we need to remind ourselves when, the doctor comes back with “bad news,” your parent continues to slip in their health, your children seem to be heading the wrong direction, or your spouse has been unfaithful.  Each of these (and more) can be spiritual battlefields where we lose or win.

The way to victory is to keep your mind stayed on the assurance that God is STILL God in the midst of the storms of life.  He has not given away His dominion, power, or sovereign rule over the universe.  It might be dark for a season, but the SON will shine again and God can restore what the storm can take away.  Instead of focusing on your storm, try focusing on God in the storm. Let us remember Psalm 30:5b, “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy [cometh] in the morning.”

Be blessed and be grateful,

Pastor Chris

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