04-17-16 His Love Endures Forever...

This has been a very hard week for several people connected to FCC, and we would really covet your prayers.

Nathan Wainwright (the son of Michael and Kim Wainwright) is working through the treatment options for his Stage 3 kidney cancer, which has aggressively spread into his lymph nodes, so please keep him and the whole Wainwright clan in your prayers.

Ten-year-old Jason, the son of one of Gary Warren’s co-workers, was diagnosed this week with an aggressive abdominal cancer.  Please keep him and his family in your prayers as well.

A young man who worked with Michael Uhler (and was engaged to be married to the granddaughter of Sherry Sansom's good friend) died unexpectedly this week, after going home early from work complaining that he “didn’t feel so good.”  Please keep everyone involved in that in your prayers.

Tom Cummings, a good friend of Cliff Johnson and a faculty advisor to Bradley’s InterVarsity group (as well as the guy who got Cliff hooked on sailing) also died this week, after battling cancer for years as well.  Please keep the Cummings family in your prayers.

Bobby Burns, who I went to High School with years ago, finally passed away on Saturday after battling cancer since last Summer.  Please keep Bobby’s family in your prayers.

And also this Saturday, our own Ken Peryam died unexpectedly, after having been home-bound since he’d shattered his leg back in January.  He re-injured it again this past week, and was already facing at least another three months of being a shut-in.  So please keep the Peryam family in your prayers.  His visitation service is this Wednesday evening, and his memorial service will be on Thursday morning.

With all of this going on, the Elders and I thought it best to postpone the next sermon in our “Voices in the Wilderness” series, and instead give Ken’s homegoing the time and emphasis that it needed to have, and to allow people to have the time to process it that they needed to have.

So instead, we spent some extra time in pastoral prayer, then discussed how God is still good, and how His love still endures forever, even when things seem unusually bleak and dark at times.  When people deal with, say, depression, it’s not uncommon for dark and unrelenting thoughts to loop through their heads over and over, like a player piano that never stops playing its solitary tune.  But we need to change that roll in the piano and, in its place, we need to consciously, prayerfully remind ourselves over and over that God is good, and that His love endures forever.

To some people, I’m sure that when I say that, it might sound trite or tinny.  But there’s good reason that Psalm 118 tells us to remind ourselves of that again and again -- because it’s not trite, and it’s not tinny.  It’s truth, and it the truth that sustains us through the hardest, darkest times.  We see the same in Psalm 13, or in Psalm 23, or in Philippians 4, or any one of a dozen other places in Scripture -- that the way to get through feeling lost, alone, dark, and hopeless in this broken world is to consciously remind ourselves of what we know about the genuinely good, sincerely loving God who never, ever changes...

Because God is good, and His love endures forever...