Joy in an Uncertain Future

Dear members and friends of Grace Baptist,

Last Sunday we were blessed to welcome Ray Schellinger to our pulpit as our World Mission Offering.  I was blessed by his message and sharing his story of Hector and Rosa Peres.  He encouraged us and shared opportunities for us to welcome those seeking refuge in the United States, including serving as a sponsor for those seeking asylum.

As I think about Ray’s invitation, I am mindful that one factor that could prevent us from welcoming others is the stress we feel in our day to day lives and the fear that comes with that stress.  A recent poll by the American Psychological Association revealed that over 80% of adults surveyed said that inflation is a significant source of stress for them.  The poll also found that there’s widespread disillusionment about people in the government, worries over the racial climate, the political state of the country, and gun violence. And over a quarter of the people surveyed – said they are so stressed they can’t even function. 

I imagine our faith community is not immune from this stress.  Such stress can cause us to worry about the future.  And the worries of this world can steal our joy in the present and future.  Fear and worry can keep us from seeking first God’s kingdom.  How do we live in such a time like this? Where can we look for guidance?

Well, we can continue to turn to the book of Philippians.  You’ll recall the Apostle Paul was in prison, awaiting a decision from Caesar whether he would be executed or not when he wrote his letter to the church at Philippi.  In that letter he continually wrote about how to have joy.  This Sunday we will focus on Philippians 3:12-20.  In that passage we will discover how to experience joy even when our future is uncertain.

See you on Sunday,

Pastor David

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