Updated Prayer Concerns
• Jim Davis – NHC, recovering from hospital stay, congestive heart failure.
• Steve Hobbs – recovering from successful outpatient back surgery on Tuesday.
• Francis Feighner – issues with her lungs, following up with doctor.
• Family of Corrie Grether – in her death last Thursday.
• Linda Dickens – recent stroke, slowly recovering.
• Jimmy & Revonda Reames – Jimmy is at NHC Laurens, coming home soon. Revonda had a procedure Tuesday to put a stint in her leg.
• Keith Blore – had a procedure postponed, will be scheduled at a later time.
• Wayland Sherman – prostate cancer. Hopeful regarding treatment.
• Bryson Davis – recovering from four wheeler accident, now recovering at home.
• Jim & Elaine Sumeral – homebound, continuing to deal with ongoing issues.
• Mike & Susan Little – Mike has restarted Chemo treatments for pancreatic cancer. Susan is also dealing with several health challenges of her own.
• Allyson Sherer- continues to do well overall, positive recent doctors’ visits.
• Carolyn Madden – cognitive/physical issues, considering longterm care for her.
• Jane Ivey – Continues to visit with doctors. Hopes to try new treatment soon.
• Bill Ramey – continuing to take treatments.
Giving: Thank you for your continued generosity to FBC through your tithes and offerings. Please continue to be faithful to the best of your ability.
Worship Options: We continue to post a worship service every Sunday on our website and via the FBC App. You may also listen to our service on WLBG at 11:05 each Sunday morning. We hope to share plans soon about resuming services in person.
FBC VBS: Will be delayed until late summer. More details are coming soon but for now please note that VBS will not take place at the planned time of June 14-18.
FBC Deacon Nominations/Elections: Have been postponed until we can be back together in person. Once normal programming resumes new dates will be set for both the nomination and the election process.
Youth Activities Resume Virtually: Our Wednesday & Sunday Evening Youth Activities have resumed. Wednesdays are at 7pm and Sundays begin at 6pm. Please let Haymes Harlan or George Lewis Compton know if you have questions. They may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. There will be no gathering this Sunday evening, May 10 due to Mother’s Day.
Read: James 1: 1-4
You may have heard athletes-in-training use the phrase “no pain, no gain”. In short, the phrase is a reference to the muscle tissue being broken down and stressed. This type of muscle stress produces muscles that are bigger and stronger, with a greater capacity to endure in the heat of competition. The exercise brings discomfort, but it strengthens the body.
Faith is like muscle tissue. If it is stressed to the limit, it becomes stronger, not weaker. When our faith is threatened and tested and stretched to the breaking point, the result is a greater capacity to endure.
No one enjoys pain. We would all prefer that our lives be carefree with no hardships. When trials come, we become frustrated that things aren’t going the way we would like or had expected. We become angry with others, ourselves, or even God. In the storm of a difficult situation, we feel discouraged and helpless, maybe even fearful.
According to James, we are not at the mercy of our circumstances. Incredibly, James says that we should “consider it pure joy” when we face trials and adversity.
The term “joy” is not something we would normally associate with trials and difficulties. But James says that when our faith is tested, we learn to rely on God more. Without difficulties in our lives, we won’t learn to trust God to the same degree as when we realize how much we need him. When God carries us through a dark time, we come to know Him in a much deeper way, gaining a fresh understanding of how much He loves and cares for us. The result is a stronger faith and an enduring faith that is more prepared to trust Him the next time.
The trials that we experience in the physical world are a means that God uses to draw our attention to something in the spiritual world. Christians in crisis are actually undergoing extreme makeovers. Our hardships can transform us into something beautiful. That is the cause for our joy. We have joy not because of the pain, but because of the purpose behind it.
God uses trials to develop us spiritually. His purpose is to grow us and transform us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
In God’s providence, we can find purpose, and joy, in our bad days.
• Who was James addressing when he wrote this passage?
• What would have been some of the trials and suffering that they were facing at the time?
• How do you think they reacted when they heard these words?
• What was your reaction as you read this passage?
• What does the testing of our faith produce? What is the end result (v. 4)?
• Consider the pandemic that our world is currently experiencing. How is God using this to draw our attention to the spiritual world?
• Look back on your life. How has God used trials in your life to strengthen your faith?
• How can you use your own experiences to encourage others as they go through trials?
God, thank you for your great love for us. When we experience trials in our lives, teach us to view these difficult times from Your perspective and grant us the comfort and joy of knowing Your presence. Use these times to make us complete. Make us more like Christ. In whose name we pray, Amen.