We trust in the face of “trials of various kinds” you are able to “count it all joy” in the Lord. It’s an attitude that is counterintuitive if all we see are the physical trails that surround us.
In his letter to the church in Corinth, Paul shared his radical perspective on all his trials and hardships: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10)
How was Paul able to endure so much opposition but remain positive and stay the course? I’m sure even his persecutors were perplexed by Paul’s unbelievably optimistic outlook on life.
Paul saw, what his persecutors could not. They lived entirely in the “seen” world, which Paul described as “transient.” Paul, on the other hand, focused on the “unseen” world where his Lord dwelt, and where all of the trials and hardships he endured were only making his final entry into eternity all the more rewarding.
That’s why he could write, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
Let’s ask the Father today to open our eyes to see what is unseen, to draw our focus away from what is temporary to what is eternal.
You will all be aware that our drop to Level 3 will remain for at least a week. While Level 3 allows for uniting of our bubbles, unfortunately our wider COV church family cannot yet meet in person. When we drop to Level 2, COV will be able to gather again, but with some limitations. We will be in touch about that next week.
Thanks to Vivian and her team, we will once again be able to enjoy our church service via video.
You can tune in just before 10am or go to the link now and set a reminder to be notified when the service goes live. There will be a two-minute countdown before 10am when the video starts, giving everyone a chance to sit down first. While a video is premiering, you will be able to chat with others and comment live by text in the live chat box next to the live video.
Thank you to all who donated to the Give-a-Little page hosted by Mariam Burrows. Please continue pray for Mariam’s family there, and for the millions of others who now live under a brutal, terrorist regime.
CONVERSION PRACTICES PROHIBITION LEGISLATION BILL
Some of you are aware there is a bill currently before parliament called the “Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill”.
Its stated purpose is to “prevent harm caused by conversion practices; and promote respectful and open discussions regarding sexuality and gender”, to “affirm the dignity of all people” and “uphold the human rights of all New Zealanders”.
It all sounds like common sense. However, the scope of the Bill currently drafted goes way beyond this intent to the point where parents who counsel and pray with their children on issues of sexuality and gender identity could be prosecuted. In fact, even if a person desires to change and gives their consent for prayer, this is no defence and anyone praying would be committing a criminal act.
You may wish to write a submission requesting the Government make changes to the wording of the Bill. It’s important you write it in your own words and not copy/paste from what someone else has said. Submissions close on Wednesday 8 September 2021 (next week)
Finally, if you are in need prayer and encouragement, or would like a phone call, please don’t hesitate to contact any one of us.