But God …

But God …

MT 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

We have a rich history at Heartland Church filled with miracles. We’ve witnessed God meet our needs and much more. The following are just a few examples . . . In late 2004, God supplied us with the Hoover Middle School building and grounds as a place to establish our ministry and provide a place for corporate worship and other ministries and activities. Along the way, He supplied buses and vans to reach children in our community. In 2008, He supplied the means to purchase 31 acres between Military Road and West 19th Street where we’d later launch a permanent campus and community presence. In order to get there, He supplied a way during the flood of 2011 for the church to get the land excavated and graded for free. The Lord continued as He supplied money and laborers to complete the building of our current 21,000 square foot building in November 2014. Most importantly, we’ve experienced God’s increase as we’ve witnessed hundreds of salvations. But God . . . blessed us.

Now let’s be honest. Along the way there were setbacks, obstacles and uncertainty. And lest we forget the times we felt we were at a crossroads. But with that, we learned early on, and have been reminded on occasion, that we can’t do it without God’s help. In response to our need, Jesus has always been faithful. He gave us vision and the confidence in Him to persevere. Okay sure. We endured scoffers, doubters and those who casted blame. But through the trials, we learned to trust God even when He was calling us to do something that didn’t seem possible. In addition to all of that, we learned the value of team, family and relationships as we rallied around one another to encourage each other to focus on Jesus and stay the course through prayer.  But God … made a way.

Even in the midst of a pandemic shrouded in political wrangling with contradictory claims by scientists and medical experts, and not to mention the political and media operatives casting blame, inciting fear and causing confusion, Jesus is reminding us of His sovereignty. He has provided for our church financially and guided us to pivot our ministry to meet needs in our community. Instead of picking up children and youth for Kids ROCK and TakeTwo Youth, we are delivering meals to them and their families. Instead of meeting together for in-person worship, God provided other means. It isn’t ideal but we rejoice for what we have. We are separate but meeting together for worship via live streaming. And for that matter, we are reaching a few unchurched people and others from outside of our area are tuning in. Instead of meeting together for small group and other meetings, we have adapted by meeting through Zoom and other technologies. Look around and listen carefully. He has opened doors that we’ve never unlocked before. It appears that God has also made us more agile through the trial. But God … provided us an opportunity.

Likely even more challenging, we’ve had our moments of loss and tragedy. Dear friends have moved on to other places and some have passed away. At times, we’ve felt disheartened and wondered what God was doing or allowing. And yet, I’m comforted by their faith and testimony and the promise of eternal life made possible by Jesus and Jesus alone. Nevertheless, I just can’t imagine enduring these times without Jesus. Can you? After all, how do we even begin to process the murder of Lisa Belk? And yet, even in our shock and mourning, Jesus has again been faithful. He is at work in various ways and in numerous places. In any case, we rejoice that in her life and in her death the gospel continues to reverberate. May this be said of all of us. But God … gave us strength.

I hope you’re encouraged by God’s faithfulness. If for no other reason, and there are many, regardless of the circumstances and the odds for or against us, God loves us and has given us a purpose. And, along with that, He has given us a vision. Of course, bad times will come and go and hopefully we learn to savor the good times. In both cases, however, we can rejoice and give thanks (Php 4:4; 1 Thes. 5:18). Because no matter what happens, we can faithfully cry out, BUT GOD … gave, provided, enabled, encouraged, blessed, guided, protected, moved . . . with YOU all things are possible.

A Work in Progress,

Pastor Gene