Serving the community since 1922

Pastor's Corner: Some of this, some of that

We have a lot to be thankful for. The specifics will be different for you than for me, but we live in a world that contains many wonderful things to enjoy, and blessings abound. If you take a moment to review problems you've survived and good things you enjoyed this week, I have no doubt there will be a good list of things for which you could give thanks.

In [BEGIN ITAL]A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich[END ITAL] Alexander Solzhenitsyn takes the unusual tack of telling us about a good day in the gulag – a Russian prison. It's a very effective device for showing how horrible life in the gulag was, because a great day there was miserable. At the same time, it shows that even in the gulag there are some interruptions to suffering.

At the same time that we have many blessings, we also have many challenges. That is normal. Paul could write that a great and effective door was opened for him. Ministry opportunities abounded, and there was a wonderful response. In the same breath he added, [BEGIN ITAL]"and there are many adversaries."[END ITAL] (1 Corinthians 16:9).

Where there are open doors, there are also adversaries. Trials always accompany blessings in this life. Ultimately, for those who love the Lord, the blessings will prevail. We're helped through trials by the blessings. The trials are temporary, whereas the real blessings are eternal. And the trials serve a valuable purpose, in the purification of our faith (1 Peter 1:7).

That doesn't make trials easy or insignificant. Some seasons of life, some situations we pass through, are unspeakably hard. I'm not pretending that life is easy! In this life, our experience is always mixed. There's something good, and there's something hard.

We never want to think in a pleasant season that everything will always be easy. That's setting ourselves up to be disappointed the moment the going gets tough. On the other hand, the trials, hardships and adversaries should never make us lose sight of the blessings.


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