When faith is important!Posted June 27, 2013
By Pastor Allen Wickstrom
Assembly of God
In the last month, our area has seen an amazing number of tragedies and deaths. As small town communities, we reel under the weight of shock and grief as these things have happened.
We may not have a family member who has died but we are impacted just the same. The “what if’s” and “why’s” come into play and our faith is tested.
But as a pastor of a church in Hettinger, I am so impressed with what I have encountered during this time. I am so encouraged by the place that faith has played in tragedy, and by the bonding together that goes beyond denominational lines.
The place where doctrinal differences are thrown out the window, and instead a coming together in common faith, looking to God and the Lord Jesus is our focus.
We live in a time when Christianity is under attack, and faith in Jesus Christ and going to church is mocked. But I am so glad that in small towns in our state, faith is still important. I love the fact that when I visit with someone from another church that though we may have different doctrinal beliefs, faith is our common bond.
I visited with a friend who is a Catholic one day, and he spoke of a neighbor who was an atheist.
My friend asked the question of his neighbor, “Where do you go when bad things happen?” In our conversation, we both agreed that we were so glad that we knew where we can go to, and that is to the Lord and to our churches. When tragedy happens there is no place like home and family but there is also nothing like a church family.
The devil wants us run away, hide, and become isolated as much as possible, but when you have a church family, besides your natural family, you will find love, support, and shoulders to cry on when you most need it.
God wants us to run to Him as well, and not away from Him for there is a wonderful comfort that comes from God, when He sends His Holy Spirit in His role as the Comforter. Grief is still present and must happen, but the Holy Spirit can bring a wonderful peace and comfort even in our darkest hours.
The Bible says that Jesus understands all of our weaknesses and griefs for He was in all ways tested and tempted. The old song expresses it well, when it says,
“What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry, Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry, Everything to God in prayer!”
I am so thankful for the churches in Hettinger and the surrounding area and for the pastors who shepherd them. When things like this happen, I want to be one who is praying for the families involved and for the pastor who has the difficult task of presiding over the funeral.
My heart grieves for you.
May the Lord Jesus Christ bring comfort to you all and to our communities.
May the examples of faith exhibited, encourage others.
If you are someone who doesn’t have a church home, or a place of faith to run to in hard times, would you consider going to the church of your choice this Sunday. I believe that you will find just what you are looking for if you do.
When all else fails or is falling apart, Jesus Christ is the answer. Another old song says, “Where could I go but to the Lord!”
Why not try Jesus today?