The Columns – February 2016

FaithLink

“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.”– Romans 8:28

I am still blown away by the way God so flawlessly orchestrates every detail of our lives. I never want to lose that feeling of wonder and amazement of the things of God and the beauty of His plan and His timing. I am starting to love it when He throws me curve balls or changes the direction of my own plans for my life. It reminds me that He’s actually the One that’s in control, not me. Thank you God that I’m not in control!

One of the most profound examples I can think of where God has moved in a mighty, earth-shattering way for me was how He transitioned me here to First Shreveport. Before coming here, I had already graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from LSU-S, a Master’s degree in Education from Louisiana Tech, and I had been teaching in the public school system for a little over 3 years. I absolutely loved working with fourth graders, but I have to say, I always felt like there was something more. I felt deep down within my soul that God had something completely different than teaching planned for my life. Then, before I could barely even process what was going on, He brought me here! I never saw it coming. There was no way I could have prepared myself for even the possibility of such a career change. But, alas, here I am! And looking back, my goodness, do I see all the amazing ways He has been preparing me for this very season all along. Now that I’m here, I see how He’s equipping and strengthening me to do the very work He’s called me to do. But here’s the thing: the process of God equipping and strengthening us often isn’t as beautiful and fluffy as we expect or desire it to be. It can be painful, difficult, and down right uncomfortable. At least it has been that way for me lately. But He is teaching me to look for Him in the midst of life’s fiercest trials. He is teaching me that EVERYTHING works together for good. He is teaching me that it’s the most painful of moments some times that shapes us into exactly the person we are called to be for Him.

Romans 8:18 says “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.”

It’s true, I am a major lover of Romans chapter 8, but with good reason. It truly puts into perspective who God is, how deeply He loves us, and that above all, He is working ALL things for our good and His glory!

I know several of us are facing chaos and uncertainty at this very moment. If your battles look anything like mine, it seems like it’s just one thing right after another after another. My encouragement for us is to recognize that we are not fighting FOR victory in our struggles. We are fighting our battles FROM the place of victory through Christ! Let’s choose to walk in victory, and not just in portions of our lives. Let’s choose to walk in victory in a way that radiates throughout our entire lives. Let’s choose to simply be still and know that, above all else, HE is the Lord our God!

“I have said this to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” –
John 16:33

I struggle to put into words how much speaking God’s Word over my situations has brought about healing and comfort in ways I would not have otherwise known. That’s why spending time in the Word each day is so important. It’s in those times of struggle that the Holy Spirit will speak the words you’ve read to your heart and bring about revelation and encouragement. It is so important that we have scripture that we can hold fast to, regardless of what battle we might be fighting to help us keep a true perspective and to not grow weary. What scripture are you clinging to for this season of your life? Are you speaking His Word over your situations?

May God’s Word be the rock on which you stand no matter what comes your way and may He bring about great and wonderful things for you.

REV. DEREK JOYCE • Associate Pastor • djoyce@fumcshreveport.orgfaithlinkfumc.org

HEATHER GUNTER • Director of Contemporary Worship • hgunter@fumcshreveport.orgfaithlinkfumc.org

UPCOMING EVENTS
Pig Roast “Eggs”travaganza • March 13, 2016 • 11:00AM • Rice Family Farm
Pray for the Cure • February 28, 2016 • Couch Chapel open from 9:30AM to 11:00AM

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