Pastor's Corner

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I was reading in Romans chapter 5 recently and it reminded me of when I used to play soccer throughout high school and my offseason training. My high school soccer coach was proud of us whether we won or lost, sometimes you get beat by a better player from the opposing team. The reason that we got beat was skill not because of conditioning. My soccer coach ran us, ran us, and then ran us some more. We would run a timed and charted 1.5 miles, have practice for 1.5 hours and then at the end of practice run sprinting drills, every day of the school week that we didn’t have a soccer game. I learned over my 4 years of playing Varsity soccer a phrase that many of us have been told over the years. No pain, No gain. When it comes to playing Varsity level sports you have to train hard to make the team, then to start in the lineup. It helps produce a good work ethic in our young people. We had several winning seasons during my four years of “Crusader” soccer. Our coach made sure if we lost it wasn’t because of a lack of conditioning.

Romans 5:3-6 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

Rejoicing in suffering is not an easy activity. Those offseason before the next soccer season started, I would train, eat right and hydrate extra for those months of conditioning. I can remember on more than one occasion listening to my favorite music or even just humming the chorus of my favorite song during those miles and miles of training for the soccer team.

The only way that I have found to rejoice while ‘suffering’ is keeping my mind focused on my end goal. When I was in high school it was making a starting position on the varsity soccer team. As Christians, we too should keep our minds focused on Jesus whenever we suffer hardship or heartache. Setbacks do not define us, how we respond to those adversities prove our character. Yet whenever we suffer in life as Christians, we never have to do it alone. Christ has promised to be with us. He suffered once and for all to make satisfaction for our sins. So, when it comes to our faith and the words from Romans chapter 5, we are reminded of a more important truth than ‘no pain, no gain.’ We are reminded that it is more correctly to think “His pain, our gain” that is why our hope is found in verse 6, 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

The Holy Spirit that has called you by the gospel, enlightened you with His gifts is with you always and He will one day bring you to Jesus so that your faith can be replaced by what “I myself will see him with my own eyes-- I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:27)

Knowing that our faith will lead us home to heaven, it makes it easier to rejoice in sufferings, remembering that this too shall pass.

In His Hands, Pastor Ryan Honeycutt