by: Rev. Justin Krupsky, Associate Pastor of Family Life
When I was in college one of my favorite Bible verses was Philippians 3:10. It starts like this, “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection…” I had a desire to experience the bigness of God, the power of God in my life, Easter morning in my life. Who doesn’t want that, right? Well the rest of the verse says this, “… and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.” Um, I wonder if 20 year old Justin Krupsky actually read that part of the verse or if I was just so focused on desiring to live in the Resurrected power of Jesus that I just overlooked it.
What I know today is that Resurrection doesn’t come without Crucifixion. This was true for Jesus and all those who have gone before us. It has been true in my life. Through suffering God somehow does His most powerful work in shining His light in us and through us. As I sit here in my office writing this, I know of so many of you who are flat out suffering because of relational turmoil or health issues in yourself or someone you love so dearly. Suffering is all around us, the darkness is doing its best to destroy us, to rob us of faith, of hope, and love. As I sit here in my office and reflect on what I know, I am also reminded that those of you who are suffering are at the same time being strengthened by God almighty. What Satan is using as evil, God is in the process of repurposing for His glory. Do you believe this? Is it true that God does His best work in the storm? Is it true that we are not victims, but instead conquerors? Can God take what you have gone through, are going through, or will go through and use it to let His light shine through you with an even greater intensity?
What does it take to have eyes of faith to see this? Well Paul expands on this through Philippians. Some of the faith habits that he spoke of were taking time to think about lovely things, prayer, having a heart of gratitude, relying on one another, serving one another, and certainly staying focused on Jesus.
If you are worshipping with us this weekend, you will hear a "Back Story" of a man from our congregation who does hospital visitations on a regular basis with our pastoral team. Why does he do this? Well, he was in the hospital because of health complications, and when he was out he asked God how He could use the suffering that we went through to be a blessing and God gave Him this opportunity. Did he want to suffer like he did? No. Did he go through it by faith? Yes. I do not know what your story is, but He does and wants to use it to let His light shine in the darkness.
“Through it all, through it all my eyes are on You. It is well. So let go my soul and trust in Him. The waves and wind still know His name.”