Praising God in the Midst of Trouble
by Rev. Dan Quakkelaar
The Apostle Paul describes Christianity in war-like terms. At its very heart, evangelism is the front line of spiritual war. So, when a committed group of believers get together to fight for the salvation of the lost and gather into a diverse church, like we are at Friend of Sinners, there are real repercussions.
Such has been the case for Friend of Sinners Church. Each of our families have had struggles, from possible deployment for a reservist, to a torn ACL, to past hurts in the church, and even homelessness. In the Quakkelaar family alone, Sherry broke her arm, someone ran a red light and totaled the minivan (no one was hurt), and a daughter suffered a blunt trauma injury to a femoral vein in a sledding accident.
There are two possible reactions to suffering in a war: you can quit or you can fight harder. Which reaction you pick is heavily dependent on whether you think you will win. This is where the church of Jesus Christ has an enormous advantage, because we already know who wins. Jesus is already victorious. Satan is defeated. Yes, he thrashes around like a worm on a hook, but his doom is sure.
As I reflect on the proclamation of the gospel in Milwaukee, and I think about Richard Schwoegler and the work of Faithbuilders, or Bart and Kim Helmbreck and Ezekiel 37 ministries, or Terry Winters and Lenders to Yahweh, or Alvin Hull at Seek and Find, or John Jones and the Mobile Media Ministries I realize that each of these ministers to Milwaukee, who are proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ, are suffering and fighting and praising along the path we are walking together.
I also realized something even deeper. When we praise God through our hard times, we are doing something we will never have the opportunity to do in heaven. Now is the chance to show our true gospel-impacted character, and praise him in the midst of trouble!
Friend of Sinners church is plugging along. We’re becoming family. Feel free to join us! (http://FriendofSinners.org) We know who wins!
Psalm 34:1-3 “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.”
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