Cover 2019-11-24

Ron Writes

Joy and Hope for a Weary Pilgrim

When you hear or read of Christians doing great things for God, it thrills your heart. I’m amazed at the level of love, sacrifice and humility displayed by some Christians. Stories of overcoming, or extreme forgiveness or sacrificial giving. It makes me want to do better. It makes me glad that I’m somehow associated with these Christians.

Then there are the horror stories. When Christians misbehave - it makes me want to cringe and cry. There are stories of greed and lust, just as you would expect from heathens, except they are done by those who claim to be Christians, even leaders within the church. Horrible things such as sexual abuse, manipulation, financial embezzlement are just part of things I’ve seen and heard. I just read of some preachers who have been so shocked and crushed by the mistreatment of leaders in the church, that they have left the ministry altogether (Christian Chronicle, Nov. 2019, p. 30). I know some who have left the church. It’s not just preachers who have had bad experiences either. I’m heartbroken when I hear someone say “I quit church after a bad experience, why should I go back?” We understand grace and forgiveness, but sometimes it can still be so disheartening.

When I hear stories of good, it makes me want to rejoice! When I hear stories of shame, it makes me fall to the floor in prayer. My friend, Jeff Jenkins penned this prayer today, “Dear God, we approach Your Holy Throne today because we believe You are Sovereign. We come before You because we trust that You hear us when we pray. We approach Your Divine Presence because we know that You alone can fix our brokenness.

Father, we pray for those who are heart-broken today because the actions of desperate people have forever altered their lives…. We pray that You will heal us from the sins that divide us as a people. We ask that You will forgive us for our sinful pride. We pray that You will forgive us for turning away from You and that we will find our way back to You. We beg for Your lovingkindness to surround our families. In Jesus Name…., Amen.”