A NOTE FROM DONNIE
Dear One Harbor Church,
The last fourteen years have included so many moments of joy and pain as we have labored together to hold onto Jesus and hold Jesus out to our community.
However, when you stop and consider the recent years’ challenges of hurricanes, a pandemic, national divisions, etc., it’s worth acknowledging that we have lived through some very testing times.
There is much to grieve as we recount those years, however, according to Scripture, there is also something to celebrate:
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4 ESV
I am sure many of us find this a strange command, to “count it all joy” when we meet various trials. However, it makes sense if the goal is our holiness, not just our happiness. God’s goal for us as individual disciples, and for us as a church, is our holiness. He wants to make us more like Him. He wants to cause us to live set-apart lives that glorify Him. To do that, trials are used to cause us to come to the end of ourselves and to rely on Him more.
Trials, like massive storms, have a way of exposing weaknesses and humbling us. Trials cause us to walk with a limp, not a swagger.
Which is good because walking with a swagger is not compatible with the Gospel; walking with a limp is!
On multiple fronts, we’ve had to grow in resiliency over these last several years. That is a good thing! God is teaching us perseverance and steadfastness. He is making us more dependent on Him. He is causing us to dig deeper foundations. We must thank Him for His commitment to our good, even when the lessons are painful to learn. Friends, do not stop fighting the good fight of personally following after Jesus! I am thankful for the thousands of folks who come to our services each Sunday and all the big ways that we are able to make an impact in our communities, but I also want each of us to make it to the end of our race.
My prayer for us each year continues to be that God would keep us faithful, humble and hopeful.
For The Sake Of The Gospel,
One Harbor Church