Last week I preached at the funeral of an old friend. Linda had four boys about my age, and she treated me like one of them. She even made me a part of her family’s wild game dinner of ”squirrel butts and deer hearts” – a high honor. Several years ago, Linda was diagnosed with cancer. She was a woman of deep faith and we prayed for her healing. But obviously (from my first sentence) it was
not to be.

In times like this, we wonder about the effectiveness of prayer and the power of our faith. Is our faith futile? Does being a follower of Jesus matter? I’m sure Linda asked questions like that, but she also knew the answer. She reposted this on Facebook during her struggles with cancer: 

Faith doesn’t always take you out of the problem. Faith takes you through the problem. Faith doesn’t always take away the pain. Faith gives you the ability to handle the pain. Faith doesn’t always take you out of the storm. Faith calms you in the midst of the storm.

Then she added, “I truly believe this about faith…even if somedays I grow weary and depressed with the situation of my health. I can’t imagine how I’d be without my Lord and my faith.”

I can’t imagine that either. Struggles will come. Life can be hard. We don’t have the option of choosing a life without pains. We do get to choose whether we face those pains with Jesus or on our own. I choose Jesus. I hope you do too.

Christ be with you,

Pastor Mark

“I (Jesus) have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:3