“The Bible is not a script for a funeral service, but it is the record of God always bringing life where we expected to find death. Everywhere is the story of resurrection.” Eugene Peterson
There are times in my Christian life, including my life as a pastor, when I have doubted whether the above quote from Eugene Peterson was really true. “Everywhere is the story of resurrection”? “God always bringing life where we expect to find death”? Surveying my own ongoing struggles with sin, the spiritually stagnant state of churches, and what has felt like “not enough change or growth,” has at times caused me frustration, doubt, and, especially being a pastor, various levels of despair.
Can you identify? Have you ever had cause to look at your own life and struggles and wonder, “Is this it? Will things ever change?” Have you ever reflected on the spiritual health and vitality of the Church and struggled with disappointment or cynicism?
The Bible does promise that we can and should know the reality of the resurrection in our everyday lives, as well as experience it in the community of the church. And, as we have seen in the book of James, the Bible also promises us that we will know ongoing struggles, sickness, sufferings, and frustrations.
So, this Sunday and next week in our Daily Worship Devotions, we consider what James 5:12-20 teaches and promises about the power of the resurrection given the presence of sufferings and struggles.
As you prepare for corporate worship, take some time to read and reflect on God’s Word in James 5:12-20, along with your own expectations and/or frustrations with experiencing the reality of the resurrection. Take these reflections to God and ask him to speak to you – and to us all together. Then, bring your heart, your hopes, your fears, and your longings with you on Sunday as we seek God together.
Yours in Christ,