Friday, September 17, 2010
Home and Joyful - Thoughts on Eternity
Hello dear friends!
Roger and I arrived safely back in Istanbul earlier this week. We were overjoyed to walk into our apartment and unpack our things and get settled in.
The day after we arrived, a group of young Finns arrived for a week-long visit. We are having a great time with them and they have been a great blessing to us and the church!
Please continue to pray for us and for the church here in Istanbul. We will be faced with some difficult decisions in the coming months and we are asking for clear guidance from God. We are so thankful to be in God's call for our lives and we are calmly resting in His plan, trusting Him for all the small details that loom so large in front of us.
Pastor Matti's message in our first church service back was about suffering in the will of God. It was an amazing message and surprisingly full of joy! He was encouraging us that suffering can be a part of the will of God and if it is from God, suffering is actually the most beautiful and precious expression of His love for us. I Peter 4:12-16 describes our suffering as a glorious thing that has eternal value. We could go through life without any pain or suffering for the sake of Christ and God would still welcome us into heaven with open arms...but from what we read in the Bible, its very clear that this "suffering that worketh patience" is of great value to God in eternity. That cannot be denied. P.Matti also pointed out that in comparison to the eternity we will spend with God, our earthly lives are like a tiny drop in a huge ocean of time. So we can either choose to run away from all pain - which would mean to keep every relationship distant and never allow God's love to make us vulnerable to betrayal, disappointment, manipulation, etc... Or we can choose to glorify God in His will for our lives - which we are promised will most certainly involve pain and suffering. God will love us matter what we...So which will it be?